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Pro-govt forces capture key areas as fighting escalates in Yemen's Hodeidah

 
Aden (Yemen), Nov 21 (IANS) Forces loyal to the Yemeni government captured key areas from the Houthi rebel group as fighting continued escalating in the country's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, a military official told Xinhua.

During the past hours, the joint pro-government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition launched a large military operation against the Houthi-held sites on Saturday in Hays district in southern Hodeidah, the local military official said on condition of anonymity.

The military operation resulted in securing Hays completely and expelling the Houthi rebels out of the district as well as the neighbouring areas, he added.

The battles are continuing, the official said, adding the pro-government forces are making progress toward other areas in Hodeidah, Xinhua news agency reported.

Several people were killed or injured as a result of the armed confrontations raging between the two warring Yemeni rivals, according to the official.

On the other hand, the Houthi rebel group said it succeeded in repelling two large attacks launched against Hays district, giving no further details.

Last week, Yemeni forces conducted a partial withdrawal from their positions in the southern and eastern areas of the turbulent city of Hodeidah.

They said the partial withdrawal was implemented within the framework of a UN-sponsored agreement to establish a "green" zone in the conflict areas in Hodeidah.

Hodeidah, a vital lifeline for millions facing starvation, has seen a shaky ceasefire between the government and the Houthi group since they reached a UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018.

--IANS
int/khz/