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Report: Saudi-Led Coalition Cuts Yemeni Rebel Supply Route

  • VOA News

Houthi Shiite rebels walk amid the rubble of the Republican Palace that was destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes, in Sanaa, Yemen, Dec. 6, 2017.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen has cut off one of their major supply lines, the United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM reported.

The fighting Wednesday also killed dozens of rebels in the area northwest of Yemen's third largest city, Taiz.

WAM said Yemeni forces, backed by UAE troops, raided the area near the Red Sea to try and secure the gains made there last month by the coalition.

The Houthi rebels seized Yemen’s capital of Sanaa in 2014, forcing the country's internationally recognized president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to temporarily flee to Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led coalition responded in March 2015 by launching airstrikes against the Houthis on behalf of Hadi's government. The airstrikes have killed thousands of civilians and wiped out entire neighborhoods, including hospitals.

The conflict is now widely seen as a proxy war between regional rivals Saudi Arabia, which backs the government, and Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels.

Humanitarian organizations have repeatedly called attention to the effect the conflict has had on civilians in Yemen, where the United Nations says 3 million people have been forced from their homes.

The International Red Cross said there are 1 million suspected cases of cholera in Yemen, and more than 80 percent of Yemenis lack food, fuel, clean water and access to health care.