At least 26 Yemeni combatants died in fresh clashes and an air strike as government forces advanced against Shiite Houthi rebels near a key shipping strait, medics and officials said Saturday. A week-long assault by government forces and their allies aims to expel the Iran-backed Houthis from Dhubab region, close to the Bab Al-Mandab strait linking the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
Twelve bodies of Houthi insurgents were taken early Saturday to a hospital in rebel-held Hodeida, a medical official said, adding that the facility received 23 others wounded. He said the casualties were from clashes on Friday night in Dhubab.
An overnight air strike by a pro-government Arab coalition on a rebel assembly in Zaydiya, in Hodeida province, left another nine Houthis dead, a security official said. The Red Sea port city of Hodeida lies some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Dhubab. A medical official at a hospital in the southern city of Aden said five pro-government fighters were killed in overnight clashes around Dhubab and 14 others wounded.—AFP