Fighting in Yemen has killed 55 opposition fighters and soldiers in two days after the government launched a major offensive in a coastal area near key shipping lanes, AFP reported Wednesday (January 11th).
Government forces began the assault Saturday in a bid to recapture the Dhubab district near the Bab al-Mandab strait which links the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Troops clashed with Iran-backed Houthi (Ansarallah) opposition fighters on Wednesday at a key military base in the region, leaving five soldiers and 12 fighters dead, military sources said.
The Yemeni government and its allies say Houthi presence near the key waterway poses a threat to international shipping .
On Tuesday, coalition aircraft attacked two Houthi boats in the Red Sea port of Salif, killing 31 fighters, a government military official said.
The death toll was confirmed by a source at a military hospital in Hodeida who said many more fighters were wounded.
In the southern province of Shabwa, seven government soldiers were killed and 12 wounded Wednesday in Katyusha rocket fire from a pocket of opposition territory, military sources said.