HODEIDAH, Yemen, The Yemeni army has killed two high-ranking Houthi militia commanders, in Hodeidah, as part of the Arab coalition's push, to recapture the second-most important city, still held by the rebels.

The city, on the Red Sea coast, is the only major port under rebel control, and widely regarded as second only to the capital, Sanaa - also still in Houthi hands - in its strategic importance.

Colonel Abu Zara'a Al Muharramy, told The National, "Yasser Al Ahmer, a well-known commander in the rebels' militia was killed, with a group of his guards on Tuesday."

The death of the rebel militia leader was the latest in a series of major blows to the Houthis, said Col Al Muharramy, as many of their top commanders have been killed, on the coastal battlefront.

The deaths of so many officers has bred insubordination within the ranks of the Houthi militias, fighting the internationally-recognised government of Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, according to Col Al Muharramy, who is the commander, leading the battle on the coastal front.

Earlier this week Ali Al Shihary, another prominent commander in the Iran-backed militia, was killed in the port city, while setting up an ambush on the Yemeni army.

Media reports had earlier claimed, the commander killed in Hodeidah was Yousef Al Madani, the right-hand man of Houthi leader, Abdulmalik Al Houthi

Colonel Al Muharramy dismissed those claims saying, the Houthi commander's identity was confirmed after his body was handed over to the Arab coalition, on the Saudi border.

The Yemeni army is ready to lead an offensive to liberate the rest of Hodeidah in the coming weeks.

In Al Bayda, a province bordering Sanaa governorate, the Yemeni military is preparing to liberate the region, bringing the capital within striking distance.

On Monday, 53 rebels and 12 government troops were killed, in clashes and air strikes south of Hodeidah.


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