Fighting continues for key Yemen port city

Houthi fighters are putting up fierce resistance in a key Red Sea port city where they are encircled by Yemeni pro-government forces, AFP reported Thursday (January 26th).

Deadly clashes have shaken Mokha since forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi launched an offensive nearly three weeks ago to oust the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) and their allies from Yemen's south-western coast.

Fresh fighting has left 20 fighters on both sides of the conflict dead over the past 24 hours, with dozens more wounded, a hospital official said.

"The city centre is still in the hands of the Houthis, while the loyalist forces have taken up positions on three axes around the city and cut off the rebels' supply route between Mokha and Taez" further east, a military official said.

He said the Houthis had "no choice" but to leave Mokha and head towards their stronghold of al-Hodeida further north on the Red Sea coast.

Pro-government forces said Monday they had also captured the port in Mokha, but opposition fighters are still holed up inside the city.

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