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21 April 2024

Yemen troops seize Midi port from Houthis

Yemeni construction workers walk with their rollers for painting in the capital, Sanaa, on January 5, 2016. (AFP)


Troops loyal to Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi seized the Red Sea port town of Midi on Wednesday in the country's northwest following fierce fighting with Iran-backed Houthi rebels, a military chief said.

"We have full control of the port and the town, along with its historic castle," Fifth Military Region commander General Adel Al Qumairi said of Midi.

Intensive clashes had raged in the area since mid-December when government forces trained in nearby Saudi Arabia crossed the border and seized the town of Haradh.

The Houthi rebels have reportedly used Midi's port to bring weapons into their traditional stronghold in the north.

Government forces have enjoyed air support from the Saudi-led coalition, which launched a campaign against rebels in March after they advanced on the southern city of Aden where Hadi had taken refuge before leaving for Riyadh.

The rebels continue to control the capital, which they overran 2014, but loyalists have captured areas east and northeast of the capital recently.

On Wednesday, coalition warplanes bombed rebel positions in Sanaa, including the presidential complex, witnesses said.