Sanaa, Jan 17 (IANS) Intense clashes erupted between the joint pro-government Yemeni forces and the Houthi rebels in the country’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, a military official said.
“The Houthi rebels carried out a large military operation against sites of the joint pro-government forces located in Hodeidah’s district of Durayhmi, sparking intense clashes in the area,” the official told Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
He said that the pro-government forces managed to repulse the Houthi attackers following hours of intense armed confrontations and shelling.
Nearly five Houthi attackers were killed and several others injured by the government forces, according to the source.
No information, however, was provided about casualties among the pro-government soldiers during the exchange of fire with the Houthi attackers in Hodeidah.
The port city of Hodeidah, a vital lifeline for millions facing starvation, has witnessed a shaky ceasefire between the government and the Houthi rebels since they reached a UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018.
The truce was seen as the first phase toward a nationwide ceasefire to end Yemen’s more than five years of civil war.
Hodeidah is under the control of the Houthis, while the government forces have advanced to the southern and eastern districts.
Both sides have been blaming each other for truce breaches and sporadic military escalation.
Yemen has been mired in civil war since late 2014, when the Houthi militia seized control of several northern provinces and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.