Clashes intensify in Taiz as Yemeni army makes gains towards provincial capital

Clashes intensify in Taiz as Yemeni army makes gains towards provincial capital
2 min read
26 February, 2022
While Saudi airstrikes have helped the Yemeni army inch closer to retaking Taiz city, Houthi forces have managed to turn the tide and break the siege of Harad, near the Saudi border.
Pro-government fighters gather near the Saudi border during the siege of Harad this week [Getty]

Heavy clashes between the Yemeni army and Houthi rebels are pushing into urban areas surrounding Taiz city, as Saudi-backed ground forces gain territory this week. 

According to the military-ran Taiz media centre,  government forces launched a series of attacks on Houthi positions on the eastern flank of the capital on Friday. 

“During the assault, the army achieved noteworthy gains against Houthi defensive positions, who were forced to retreat under heavy, targeted fire,” said an unnamed military source, speaking to the media centre. 

The government forces were able to destroy a tank, an armoured vehicle and a Houthi drone, and claimed to have killed or wounded at least 30 Houthi fighters, according to the source - who did not make mention of casualties within government ranks. 

However, media activists in Taiz reported that 12 government soldiers were killed during clashes with Houthi forces defending their positions on Friday. 

According to the Taiz media centre, Houthi forces responded by launching heavy bombardments in civilian areas in disorganised attempts to regain lost territory. 

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Clashes near the Saudi border

In separate clashes throughout the end of this week, the Yemeni army also reportedly destroyed a Houthi drone near the border with Saudi Arabia, in Hajjah governorate to the east of Yemen. 

“Under Saudi leadership, coalition forces also destroyed a tank belonging to the Houthis near the border”, the military source said. 

However, Houthi forces in Hajjah province were able to unlock the siege placed on the border city of Harad by government forces at the beginning of February, according to a military source speaking to Arabi21

The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that two weeks into the bloody siege, Houthi forces managed to regain strategically important positions on al-TMahsam mountain at the entrance to Harad city - enabling them to break through the line of government forces surrounding the city.