FIGHTING CONTINUES IN YEMEN DURING EID-AL-ADHA HOLIDAY
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Fighting continued Tuesday between pro-government forces and fighters of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen at the start of Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The fighting during Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, witnessed no temporary cease-fire, giving exhausted citizens zero chance to celebrate peacefully away from random shelling and explosions.
In the Red Sea coast city of Hodeidah, ferocious battles raged between Houthis and the Giants Brigades loyal to Yemen's government in Durayhmi and other surrounding areas.
Local sources told Xinhua that the Houthi rebels mobilized more fighters and launched counter-offensive attacks against the pro-government forces in Durayhmi after losing key locations in previous battles.
He said that the pro-government forces failed to seize full control over Durayhmi district despite the withdrawal of Houthis from the government institutions.
The Houthi rebels overwhelmed many areas with landmines and used the residential buildings as military locations, making it difficult for government forces to advance in the city, according to the sources.
Earlier in the day, warplanes of the Saudi-led Arab coalition launched airstrikes and targeted arms depots belonging to the rebel Houthi group near Durayhmi.
The airstrikes bombed a warehouse containing locally-manufactured weapons and missiles, causing a series of explosions at the scene, an army commander said.
In the southern part of the country, forces of the Fifth Armored Brigade launched an armed attack and seized a number of locations from Houthis near the government-controlled province of Lahj.
The pre-dawn attack succeeded in kicking the Houthi fighters out from key mountains in the outskirts of Lahj, killing and injuring an unknown number of rebels, a government official told Xinhua.
Elsewhere in the central province of al-Bayda, more than 21 Houthi fighters were killed during ongoing armed cconfrontations with government forces in Sawdiyah area.
Medical officials confirmed that several government soldiers were also killed during the same battles with Houthis in al-Bayda, but refused to mention further details.
Officials of the Houthi group in the capital Sanaa were not available to comment about the casualty figures amongst their fighters.
The intensified fighting is taking place just two weeks ahead of a new round of peace negotiations between the Yemeni warring factions sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva.
Local Yemeni observers said that the continuing fighting shows that there is no clear path toward the success of next negotiations, and the warring factions have no desire in ending the three-year long war.
The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.
Saudi Arabia with other Arab countries intervened militarily and began pounding the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa in March 2015 in response to an official public request from Hadi to protect Yemen and roll back Iran's influence.
The internal military conflict between the Iranian-backed Houthis and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government recently entered its fourth year, aggravating the suffering of Yemenis and deepening the world's worst humanitarian crisis in the country.
The ongoing fighting between the two warring rivals with daily Saudi-led airstrikes plunged the most impoverished Arab country in the Middle East into more chaos and violence.
Three quarters of the population, or more than 22 million people, urgently require some form of humanitarian help, including 8.4 million people who struggle to find their next meal.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK