ADEN, Yemen- Forces loyal to Yemen's government, launched a military campaign, on areas controlled by the Shiite Houthi rebels, in the south-western province of Taiz on Saturday.

According to an official of the Fourth Regional Military Command, the pro-government forces, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, stepped up military operations against the Houthis, in areas located between Taiz and Lahj provinces.

He said that, a number of villages in Hayfan and surrounding areas, were captured by pro-government forces, following fierce armed confrontations with the Iranian-backed Houthis. The Houthi-controlled sites were shelled heavily with several Saudi-led air strikes, hours before the pro-government military attack, he said.

Local tribal leaders confirmed to Xinhua, saying that, the Houthis have no presence in their villages, after Saturday's military operations. "Our tribal fighters, engaged in the fighting, alongside the pro-government forces chased the Houthis, leaving their weapons behind," a local tribal chief said, during a phone call.

"Houthis' existence in our villages is totally rejected, and we won't tolerate with such militia any more," the tribal source said.

Both Yemeni warring rivals, stepped up military operations across the war-torn Arab country, just days ahead of a fresh round of peace talks, the fifth of its kind, is set to kick off in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sept 6, under the auspices of the United Nations.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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