Fighters take Aden area from Houthis
July 20 2015 10:52 PM

People watch as smoke billows following clashes in the Dar Saad suburb of Aden on Sunday.


Local fighters and army units backed by Yemen’s exiled government have taken control of Tawahi, the last district of central Aden still held by the Iran-allied Houthi militia and its allies, a spokesman for the fighters said yesterday.
Assisted by Saudi-led air strikes, the local forces broke months of stalemate in Aden last week by suddenly seizing the airport and advancing into other parts of the port city held by the Houthis and forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Late yesterday a car blast outside a mosque used by the Houthis in Sanaa killed five people and injured seven others, police sources and medics said, and was swiftly claimed by the local branch of the Islamic State group.
Yemen’s chaos has given more opportunities to Islamist militant groups, who have consolidated their hold over eastern parts of the country and regard the Houthis, who mostly belong to the Shia Zaidi sect, as heretics.
Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen’s war on March 26 in an effort to stop Houthi and pro-Saleh forces taking Aden, the last city nominally controlled by exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government, and to restore him to power in Sanaa.
Fighters from the Southern Resistance, which wants the former state of south Yemen to break from the north after 25 years of unification, entered Tawahi, at the tip of Aden’s peninsula, late on Sunday after securing the Crater district.
They took control of the television and radio buildings, and army and security bases in fierce fighting, the group’s spokesman Ali al-Ahmadi said.
Local fighters and Yemeni army units are also battling the Houthis and Saleh’s forces around important military bases in Lahj province, to Aden’s north, and in Abyan province, along the Indian Ocean coast east of the city.
Saudi-led coalition air strikes on Sunday night killed 20 civilians in Saada, the Houthi stronghold in northern Yemen, the country’s Houthi-controlled Saba News Agency said yesterday.
Shelling by Houthi and pro-Saleh forces in the Dar Saad district of Aden on Sunday, which killed at least 43 people, was indiscriminate and targeted an area where many displaced people live, the international aid group Medecins sans Frontieres said.
“Over the course of just a few hours yesterday, Doctors Without Borders teams in ... Aden received 150 people wounded in reprisal attacks by Houthi fighters, among them women, children and the elderly,” MSF said in a statement.

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