Wed, 20 Oct 2021

ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Fighting continued Wednesday between Yemen's government forces and the Houthi rebels over the control of the country's oil-rich province of Shabwa, a military official told Xinhua.

"The government dispatched heavy reinforcements backed by armored vehicles sparking ferocious battles with the rebels in Shabwa's western parts," the local military source said on condition of anonymity.

During the past 24 hours, scores of people from both warring sides were either killed or injured as the fighting heads for more escalation, he said.

He added that "the government forces deployed several military units and managed to stop the Houthis advancement in some areas of Shabwa."

Meanwhile, the country's Defence ministry said in a brief press statement that "dozens of Houthi fighters were killed by the army's fire in Bayhan district, in addition to destroying a number of their armored vehicles."

The pro-government ministry confirmed that large military reinforcements and hundreds of tribal fighters arrived in the area to support the army forces on the frontlines and stop the Houthis from invading Shabwa.

On Tuesday, the Houthi rebel fighters achieved on-ground military progress and captured Bayhan and other key areas in southern Yemen's oil-rich province of Shabwa, where oil fields are located.

In 2017, the Yemeni government forces backed by Saudi Arabia-led coalition launched a large military campaign and expelled the Houthi rebels out of all the strategic areas in Shabwa.

The Iran-allied Houthi militia recently intensified their military operations against the government-controlled areas in different parts of the war-ravaged Arab country, and succeeded in capturing key areas from the government forces.

Yemen has been locked into a civil war since the Houthi militia overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014.

Saudi Arabia has been leading the Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthis forced him into exile.

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