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Yemen: Coup Militias Make Up for Losses by Targeting Civilians | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Yemeni tribesman from the Popular Resistance Committee places a mortar shell into a rocket launcher in Taiz during clashes with Al Houthi rebels. Reuters

Taiz-Yemen’s national army forces have been able to sustain the pace of progress against coup militias in Taiz and south of Sana’a. Fierce clashes have been ongoing at each of the Hifan and Assilw districts, both located south of Yemen’s third largest city, Taiz.

The army and popular forces repelled mercenaries’ attempt to advance toward al-Dhaif Mountain in Taiz province, a military official said.

The operation took place when the coup gunmen carried out attacks in order to infiltrate toward the army and popular forces’ sites, killing dozens of the mercenaries and wounding others, as well as destroying several of their vehicles, the official added.

Army troops secured strategic advances after valiantly surmounting intense clashes accompanied with random bombardment that led to grave losses in human civilians and public property.

Ground sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that coup militants have also recorded great losses both in personnel and artillery amid the heavy fighting.

After standing great losses, Houthi militiamen stormed a school, shooting, and breaking into classes taking in four instructors and a student hostage.

At least 28 Houthi combatants and six former president Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists were killed in the clashes as the rebel forces mount fresh attacks to control new territories in the densely populated city.

Iran-backed Houthis, who have firmly controlled the city’s outskirts for more than a year, could not advance into the city’s center despite heavy shelling and siege.

In a statement that he made to Asharq Al-Awsat, a Yemeni army source on the Hifan front said that “Yemeni army forces were able to make significant progress on the Al-Ahkoum front in Hifan … after fierce battles. This matter has made the Houthi militias and those loyal to Saleh respond by bombing villages”.

The source continued by saying that “similarly, violent confrontations took place on the rural Assilw front in the south of the city. During these confrontations, the militias tried to advance on sites belonging to the army in the Asseeratayn area. However, army forces confronted them and forced them to retreat and flee. The army and the Popular Resistance also managed to regain control of Hamdu village in the district of Assilw”.