Houthi attack kills 4 pro-government soldiers in Yemen

Aden (Yemen): A Houthi attack involving drone strikes and a ground offensive in Yemen’s southern Al-Dhalea province has killed at least four pro-government soldiers, a military official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that “the Houthis first deployed drones to bombard sites controlled by pro-government forces in the northern fronts of Al-Dhalea province. The drone strikes killed four soldiers”.

In a subsequent ground offensive against the pro-government positions, the Houthis wounded six soldiers, the official added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

Despite sustaining casualties from the drone attack, the pro-government troops managed to repel the Houthi ground assault after intense clashes, and forced the rebel fighters to withdraw from the area, according to the military source.

The escalation of hostilities comes after UN appeals for all parties to exercise maximum restraint in order to safeguard tentative progress toward a negotiated end to Yemen’s nine-year civil war.

During a UN Security Council session earlier this month, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, urged the warring factions to exercise maximum restraint and work toward de-escalation.

Yemen has been embroiled in a protracted civil conflict since 2014, when the Houthis seized control of the capital, Sanaa.

In 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in an attempt to restore the government.

Despite diplomatic endeavours over the years, neither side has demonstrated the will to revive negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict which, according to UN estimates, has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and pushed millions more to the brink of famine.

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