First Published: 2017-12-07

Yemen government forces retake Red Sea town
Government troops backed by Saudi-led military coalition launched operation overnight to drive Huthi rebels out of Khokha.
Middle East Online

Khokha lies between rebel-held Hodeida and government-controlled Mokha.

KHOKHA - Yemen's government has retaken a Red Sea town from Huthi insurgents, officials said Thursday, days after President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's administration ordered troops to advance on the rebel-held capital.

The war-torn Arabian Peninsula country has been plunged deeper into turmoil by the killing on Monday of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh by the Huthis after his alliance with the Iran-backed insurgents collapsed.

Government troops backed by a Saudi-led military coalition launched an operation overnight and drove the Huthis out of Khokha, which fell to the rebels in January, an army captain and officials in the town said, requesting anonymity.

The news could not be independently confirmed.

The Yemeni capital Sanaa is now largely under the control of the Huthis -- northern tribes with links to Iran -- after clashes between the rebels and Saleh loyalists erupted last week.

Khokha lies between rebel-held Hodeida and government-controlled Mokha on the Red Sea coast and is central to the expansion of government control over the strategic coastline.

The port of Hodeida is the main conduit for UN-supervised deliveries of food and medicine to Yemen, where poverty has been compounded by war and a blockade on ports and airports imposed by the Saudi-led coalition.

Riyadh and its allies accuse their arch-rival Iran of arming the Shiite rebels. Tehran denies the accusation.

More than 8,750 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government's fight against the Huthis in 2015, triggering what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

 

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Somali journalist killed in front of children

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile