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Houthis say established control over part of central Yemeni province of Al Bayda

Doha: The Shia Houthi rebels said they had established control over a part of the central Yemeni province of Al Bayda.

“The operation of Al-Nasr Al-Mubin has resulted in the liberation of some 100-square-kilometers [38 square miles] territory in the districts of As Sawma’ah and Az Zahir,” a Houthi general told the Almasirah broadcaster on Thursday.

He added that planes of the Saudi-led coalition had carried out more than 160 airstrikes in the area to support the Yemeni government forces.

According to the general, the operation left 350 soldiers of the government forces dead and more than 560 others injured, as well as 29 transport vehicles damaged or destroyed.

Yemen has been gripped by an internal conflict between the government forces and the Houthi movement for over six years. Since 2015, the Saudi-led coalition fighting on the government’s side has been conducting air, land and sea operations against the rebels, who control the capital of Sanaa and large areas in Yemen’s north and west. The Houthis often retaliate by firing projectiles and bomber drones at the Saudi territory.

On March 22, Saudi Arabia proposed a comprehensive UN-sponsored ceasefire in Yemen, but the Houthis demanded that Riyadh first lift the economic blockade of Yemeni ports and airports.

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