View Full Version : Houthis suffer first serious setback in south Yemen fighting: residents

European Knight
05-26-2015, 12:17 PM

Local Sunni Muslim militia ejected Shi'ite Houthi rebels from much of the southern Yemeni city of Dalea on Monday, residents and combatants said, inflicting the first significant setback on the Iranian-backed rebels in two months of civil war.

Dalea had been a bastion of southern secessionists in Yemen before the Houthis took widespread control of the city in arch, after having seized the capital Sanaa in the north in September, toppling President Abd-Rabbu Mansour, and then thrust into the center and south of the Arabian Peninsula country.

After two months of fighting in which much of Dalea has been destroyed, Sunni fighters on Monday turned the tide by seizing a key military base and the main security directorate in the city, militia sources and local residents said. Twelve Sunni fighters and 40 Houthi rebels were killed, they said.

"In intense fighting lasting from dawn until this afternoon, the southern resistance succeeded in cleansing our city of Houthi elements," a front-line militiaman told Reuters.

Eyewitnesses said local forces in Dalea, which has an estimated population of 90,000, were backed by weeks of air strikes on Houthi positions as well as weapons drops which intensified in recent days.