Clashes kill 39 combatants outside Yemen’s Hodeida city


Heavy clashes killed 39 combatants outside Yemen’s rebel-held port city of Hodeida on Thursday, as a Saudi and United Arab Emirates backed offensive to retake the key aid hub entered its second day.
Yemen’s Iran backed Houthi rebels suffered 30 fatalities in the fighting, which took place two km from the Hodeida airport, south of the city, medical sources told AFP.
Nine pro-government troops were killed in the same area, the medics said. Military sources said the deaths were caused by mines and snipers.
An AFP correspondent behind the government lines in Al Duraihimi witnessed ambulances arriving from the front loaded with dead and wounded.
Saudi-led coalition warplanes and Apache helicopters provided “continuous” air support to pro-government forces, striking Houthi positions, military sources said.
Stiff resistance from rebels
The Houthis have put up a fierce resistance, however, using snipers to slow the assault, the sources added.
The coalition-backed troops have also been slowed by need for de-mining operations to advance.
The government side sent significant reinforcements to the front on Thursday, according to military sources and the AFP correspondent.


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