News 11 july — 13:55

Yemen: Army commander killed in clashes with Houthis

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A top Yemeni army commander has been killed during clashes with rival Houthi forces in southern Yemen’s Dalea province, according to a military source, Anadolu Agency reports.

Col. Ziad Shaif al-Hariri, commander of the 1st battalion in the UAE-backed Security Belt forces in Dalea, was killed late Wednesday in clashes with the Houthis in Bab Ghalq military front, the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions to speak to the media, told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Hariri was known as one of most prominent military commanders in the Security Belt forces. He took part in clashes with the Houthis in 2015 when the latter controlled parts of the Aden province, according to the same source.

Since May, Yemeni army forces (brigades affiliated with the military zone in Aden, the UAE-backed Security Belt forces, as well as pro-government forces) have been fighting against armed Houthis, leaving dozens of deaths on both sides.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Since then, tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the UN.

According to UN figures, Yemen is facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with more than 10 million people driven to the brink of famine. More than 22 million people in Yemen are desperate for humanitarian aid and protection.

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