Army commander killed fighting Houthis in Yemen’s Bayda

Yemeni army this week launched fresh military campaign to retake Houthi-held parts of Al-Bayda province
MAARIB, Yemen: A senior Yemeni army commander was killed in Thursday clashes with Houthi rebels in Yemen’s central Al-Bayda province, according to a military source.
“Colonel Ahmed al-Aqili, the commander of the army’s 153rd Brigade, was killed when his vehicle struck a landmine in Al-Bayda,” the source, who spoke to Anadolu Agency anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, said.
“Several of his companions were also killed in the incident,” the source added without elaborating.
Anadolu Agency was unable to obtain an immediate confirmation of the source’s assertions from the Yemeni army command.
On Wednesday, the army began a wide-ranging operation aimed at retaking Houthi-held parts of Al-Bayda.
So far, it has succeeded in retaking Al-Bayda’s Numaan directorate and the strategic Aqabat al-Qanzaa mountain range linking Al-Bayda to the eastern Al-Shabwa province.
Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies — who accuse the Houthis of serving as proxies for Shia Iran — launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
The following year, UN-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait failed to end the destructive the conflict.
The ongoing violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern times”.–AA

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