Yemenis in a flood-hit area in the eastern province of Mahra. The governor of the province has urged relief organisations to offer assistance to the locals hit by tropical storm Luban. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Yemeni government forces, supported by an Arab coalition, have pushed deeper into a northern stronghold of Al Houthis, coming closer to the house of the militant group’s founder, a senior army commander said on Monday.

“The National Army troops have made major advances against Al Houthis across the Maran mountains,” chief of the army’s Third Brigade Abdul Karim Al Sadai told news portal September Net.

Maran in the province of Saada is the hometown of several Al Houthi leaders.

Al Sadai added that his troops are now positioned about six kilometres away from the house of Hussain Al Houthi, the founder of the Iran-allied extremist group.

“Al Houthi militia sustained during the battles heavy casualties,” he said.

Al Houthis have plunged Yemen into strife after they deposed the internationally recognised government and seized the capital Sana’a in late 2014.

The Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, is fighting to restore the Yemeni government. The war has worsened the humanitarian situation in poor Yemen.

A tropical storm has lashed Yemen’s eastern province of Mahra and caused heavy damage, prompting local authorities on Monday to declare it a devastated zone.

Mahra Governor Rajah Bakrit has urged the Yemeni government, the Arab coalition and relief organisations to offer assistance to the locals hit by the tropical storm Luban.

Pictures on social media showed flood-stricken areas in Mahra where workplaces and schools have been closed due to the storm-caused havoc. The provincial health office reported that at least three people went missing, 33 others injured and more than 350 families were evacuated due to the cyclone.