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16.11.2015 13:18 News >> Saudi-Led Coalition Pounds Houthis İn Yemen's Taiz

Saudi-Led Coalition Pounds Houthis İn Yemen's Taiz

Coalition reportedly sends ground reinforcements from Aden in advance of fresh push on Houthi held Taiz.

An Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia on Monday carried out intensive airstrikes on several positions held by the Shia Houthi militant group in Yemen's southwestern Taiz province.

According to local residents, Monday's airstrikes coincided with the deployment of army reinforcements from the southern Aden province -- captured by government forces earlier this year -- in advance of a fresh push on Taiz.

For the last several months, Taiz has been held by the Houthis and allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Local residents told an Anadolu Agency correspondent that Houthi positions in the east and west of the province had recently been subjected to "unprecedented" airstrikes by coalition warplanes.

They also reported hearing loud explosions in the Al-Waziyah area to the west of the city, which they believed had been caused by the destruction of Houthi arms depots.

According to residents, airstrikes targeted a number of Houthi and pro-Saleh positions in the Al-Hasab district, inside Taiz University -- which has been used as a barracks by the Houthis and their allies -- and the Taiz International Airport.

On Sunday night, Saudi-led coalition warplanes also struck Houthi positions in the Al-Sallal foothills in eastern Taiz and the Al-Rahidh and Al-Misrakh directorates in the province's south.

A leader of the so-called "popular resistance" forces, which support Saudi-backed President ABD Rabbo Mansour Hadi, asserted earlier that "the zero-hour for the battle for the full liberation of Taiz province is close at hand".

Requesting anonymity, he told Anadolu Agency that substantial military reinforcements from the Saudi-led coalition had arrived to the outskirts of Taiz Sunday evening with a view to "lifting the siege imposed several months ago by the Houthis and pro-Saleh forces".

A security source, meanwhile, who likewise requested anonymity, told Anadolu Agency that tanks, armored vehicles and minesweepers had arrived at the borders of Taiz from the south.

Fractious Yemen  has remained in turmoil since late last year, when Houthi militants overran capital Sanaa, from which they later extended their influence to other parts of the country. 

Recent months, however, have seen Saudi-led coalition forces retake five of Yemen's southern provinces -- Aden, Lahij, Abya, Ad Dali and Shabwah -- earlier captured by the Houthis and their allies.

(Ali Abo Rezig contributed to this report) - Yemen



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