Dozens of Houthi fighters killed in coalition advance

The offensive south of the port city of Hodeidah follows the start of a major operation earlier this month

(FILES) A file photo taken on December 10, 2017 shows Yemeni fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni president gesturing and shout slogans as they stand on a road leading to the town of Khokha which was retaken from Shiite-Huthi rebels, about 120 kilometres south of the Huthi rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida.  / AFP / SALEH AL-OBEIDI

The Arab coalition in Yemen killed dozens of Houthi fighters during a major advance along several fronts south of the port city of Hodeidah on the Red Sea, the Wam news agency reported Friday.

The coalition penetrated the front lines of the rebels creating panic leading to the capture of an unspecified number of Houthi fighters and the killing of one of its commanders, Wam reported.

It said that fleeing Houthi fighters were selling weapons to secure their escape following a series of victories for the coalition.

The offensive followed the start of a major military operation in the region earlier this month. More than 70 Houthi fighters were killed in the Hodeidah province on Thursday as government troops backed by the UAE Armed Forces cut off a rebel supply line.

Early Friday, jets from the Arab Coalition supporting the government launched air strikes at Houthi reinforcements heading towards the strategically important Zabeed district, a military source in Al Tuhaiyta told The National. The strikes destroyed several Houthi military vehicles trying to approach Zabeed through the desert, the source said

Coalition troops seized the main rebel supply route between Al Tuhaiyta and Zabeed districts. Troops pressed on to the two districts which were which are expected to be liberated in the coming days, said Aseel Al Sakladi, media officer in the Yemen army's Al Amalikah Brigade.