Yemeni forces break through Taiz siege

Yemeni forces break through Taiz siege
Troops loyal to the Yemeni government have retaken strategic areas of the besieged Taiz city.
2 min read
12 March, 2016
Humanitarian aid should now be able to be delivered to Taiz's 200,000 residents [Getty]
Pro-government forces have made substantial gains in Yemen's Taiz city, under Houthi siege for several months.

Troops loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi recaptured large areas of the southern city following violent battles that left 57 dead on Friday.

The loyalists, backed by the forces from the Saudi-led coalition, took back areas in the western and southern suburbs of the city, said governor Ali al-Maamari.

They "reopened key roads that the Houthis had been blocking for nine months", said the governor, who lives in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Dozens of military vehicles transported Houthi rebel fighters out of the city towards the city of Hodeida on the Red Sea, witnesses said.

The coastal city of Hodeida remains under the control of the insurgents and their allies, army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Houthis captured Taiz - Yemen's third-largest city located between the rebel-held capital Sanaa and the southern port city of Aden - several months ago, cutting off all roads and blocking humanitarian acess for the estimated 200,000 residents.

But the latest developments will likely allow for humanitarian and medical aid to reach the besieged inhabitants, al-Maamari suggested.

In November, forces allied to President Hadi announced a major offensive to try to break the siege on Taiz.

More than 6,100 people have died - half of them civilians -since the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on Yemen in March 2015, according to the United Nations.