170 Yemen rebels killed along Saudi border

170 Yemen rebels killed along Saudi border
At least 170 Yemeni Houthi rebels were killed in cross-border fighting with Saudi forces, as the battle for Yemen's third largest city continue local media reported Monday.
3 min read
30 November, 2015
Saudi Arabian media has reported that around 170 rebels were killed as they launched an offensive in an area along the border with the southern Saudi province of Jazan, among the dead was a journalist for the Houthi-controlled television channel al-Masirah, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service.

The frontier between the two countries has recently seen the deadliest barrages in weeks.

       Forces loyal to President Hadi rally in Taiz [Getty]
On Monday, the Houthi rebels said they had captured Saudi positions in the al-Shabaka area of Saudi Arabia's Najran province and destroyed six armoured vehicles.

Also on Monday, the Saudi interior ministry announced that three Saudi border guards had been killed in Jazan province while attempting to confront "hostiles" who had infiltrated the Kingdom, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic Service.  

Shelling from Yemen killed a border guard soldier and two residents in Saudi Arabia's border region of Dahran al-Janub on Sunday, the Saudi interior ministry announced.

Also on Sunday, in the Jazan region, two Yemeni residents died in shelling from over the border, the Civil Defence agency said.

Another Yemeni, among hundreds of thousands living in Saudi Arabia, died on Saturday when attackers from Yemen opened fire on Najran, Civil Defence said.

Many have been killed in border shelling and skirmishes since Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a military intervention against Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen's former leader Ali Abdallah Saleh in its southern neighbour in March.

Battle for Taiz

The Saudi-led coalition has continued its air raids to the west of Taiz city on Sunday, targeting rebels in the town of al-Misrakh and killing at least 16 rebels and wounding another 27.

A source in the popular resistance committees said that one pro-government soldier had been killed and 18 wounded in clashes around the city.

"Fierce fighting is going on in the area of Najd Qasim south of Taiz after forces loyal to President Hadi have begun trying to retake the area, while fighting continues on several other fronts in the city," the source told an al-Araby al-Jadeed Yemen correspondent.

The Houthis have surrounded the city of Taiz for months, shelling neighbourhoods and battling with local fighters. The anti-Houthi forces are trying to advance from further south, fighting their way towards the city to break the siege.

If the Houthis lose at Taiz, which lies on the border between northern and southern Yemen, it could be a major turning point in the war. It would cement the Houthis' loss of the south, reducing their areas of control to the capital, Sanaa, and their strongholds in the far north, along with some areas in the centre with little strategic significance. That could force them into negotiations with the internationally recognised government, led by Hadi.

Residents in the city of some 250,000 say more than 1,600 civilians have been killed in the siege since March, largely by Houthi shelling. Electricity has been mostly cut, water supplies are low and food and other supplies have to be smuggled in.

Houthi spokesman Mohammad Abd al-Salam has denied reports that the brother of the rebel group's leader Abd al-Malik al-Houthi was recently killed.

In Yemen, the UN says more than 5,700 people have been killed since March, nearly half of them civilians.