Clashes on Yemen's west coast kills more than 100

Clashes on Yemen's west coast kills more than 100
Fierce battles are raging between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels on the country's west coast, which has so far left more than 100 dead in a day of fighting.
2 min read
29 January, 2017
Pro-government forces launched an offensive on the Red Coast [Getty]

More than 100 fighters were killed in fierce battles between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels on the country's west coast in the past 24 hours, officials said on Sunday.

The bodies of at least 90 Houthi rebels were taken to a hospital in the Red Sea city of Hodeida - which is controlled by the insurgents - while 19 dead soldiers were taken to the southern port city of Aden, the medical and military sources said.

Deadly clashes have shaken the area around the key Red Sea town of Mokha since the start of the year when loyalist fighters launched an offensive to oust Houthi rebels and their allies.

Loyalists backed by the firepower of a Saudi-led Arab coalition advanced into the town after having captured its port on Monday, despite strong rebel resistance.

Clashes raged in the town on Sunday, a military official said.

Airstrikes by coalition warplanes hit rebel supplies along the route between Mokha and Hodeida, the official said.

Houthi forces had controlled Mokha since they overran the capital Sanaa in September 2014 and advanced on other regions aided by troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Forces supporting President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi - backed by the Saudi-led coalition - launched a vast offensive on 7 January to retake the coastline overlooking the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Mokha was Yemen's main port serving as its export hub for coffee until it was overtaken by Aden and Hodeida in the 19th century.

Nearly 370 combatants have been killed since government forces launched their drive up the Red Sea coastline.

Meanwhile, Yemen's rebel-aligned SABA news agency reported "severe casualties" on Sunday after a missile was launched towards Saudi Arabia's al-Hammad base in the kingdom's Najran province.

The soldiers were gathering in a new established site in eastern al-Hammad base when the missile struck, SABA news agency reported.

More than 10,000 people, half of which civilians, have been killed since the two year conflict escalated with the Saudi-led coalition intervention to push back Houthi rebels in March 2015.