Yemeni forces made gains around the Red Sea coastal town of Mokha in heavy fighting overnight as they rebuffed a counter-offensive staged by the Houthis (Ansarallah), AFP reported Thursday (February 23rd).
Seven Yemeni soldiers and 16 Houthis were killed in the fighting, hospital sources said, and 12 soldiers and 28 Houthis were wounded. Twelve Houthis were taken prisoner.
Yemeni forces captured Yakhtul, to the north of Mokha, and Jabal al-Nar to the east, consolidating their grip on the town they overran on February 10th, a military source said.
The next goal of the Yemeni forces is the Red Sea port city of al-Hodeida, a vital conduit for UN-supervised aid deliveries to areas held by the Houthis.
Coalition air strikes on al-Hodeida province late Wednesday killed seven Houthis and wounded 15, military sources said.
The raids targeted an arms warehouse in Bayt al-Faqih and a missile launcher in Bajil.
Further north, meanwhile, rocket fire from the Houthis killed a policeman and wounded a civilian on the Saudi side of the border, the Saudi civil defence department said late Wednesday.
At least 128 people have died in southern Saudi Arabia since the coalition's intervention began -- some in border skirmishes, others in rocket fire.