Yemen loyalists seize control of key strait

On Thursday, troops backed by the Saudi-led coalition seized Bab al-Mandab and Dhubab in the southern province of Taez near the strait, Yemeni military official Abd Rabbuh al-Mihwali told AFP.

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The area is deemed the gateway to the Bab al-Mandeb strait connecting the Red Sea with the Arabian Sea, a vital route for oil tanker and other maritime traffic between Asia and Europe.

Houthi rebels and allied forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh seized Bab al-Mandab and Mayoun around six months ago as part of their sweep across the impoverished country.

The United Nations says at least 2,355 civilians have been killed in Yemen’s conflict since late March, and another 4,862 injured, Colville said.

Mr. Hadi said that Yemen had appealed to neighbouring countries for assistance in tackling the Houthi militias, and that the response was a “courageous one”, particularly from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which, he said, had “acted with utter determination”.

Pro-government forces launched the attack Thursday against the Houthis, who have controlled the area near the strait for several months. The warships have, in addition to stopping food shipments, been used to attack Houthi positions along the coast elsewhere, and to support the pro-Saudi fighters. A statement said he died while being treated in Germany after succumbing to wounds sustained “at the battle for Marib“.

The rebels still control the capital and northern provinces near the border with Saudi Arabia.

According to a report by the Lebanese al-Mayadeen news network on Saturday, an unnamed Yemeni official said that the Hadi loyalists had only reached the Khor Omaira area and not the strategic strait.

Coalition ground forces have also recently entered combat in a so-far unsuccessful bid to push the Houthis from the capital, but have retaken the badly damaged port city of Aden. Coinciding with the monarch’s visit, a billion-dollar deal was announced to replenish the Saudi Arabia weapons stockpile, which has been depleted by more than 25,000 air strikes in Yemen.

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The Saudi resolution was adopted with the support of the USA and Britain by the UN’s top rights body yesterday by consensus.

V for victory greets Saudis in Yemen, recalling U.S. in Iraq