Mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and missiles lit up the night sky over the city of Hays Tuesday

Heavy clashes rock southern Hodeidah border town

More than 40 mortar shells were fired into residential neighborhoods in the city of Hays in southern Hodeidah governorate Tuesday night, local residents told Almasdar Online. 

Using a variety of medium and heavy weapons, including mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and missiles, the clashes between Saudi-led coalition-backed Giants Brigade and Iran-backed Houthis damaged property, partially destroyed houses and injured one civilian. 

The fighting started after a government military vehicle carrying soldiers from the 7th Giants Brigade was hit by a missile, believed to have been fired by the Houthis, as the troops arrived at the Al-qa’qa’ school east of Hays. The Giants Brigade, which has used Al-qa’qa’ and Khawla schools as bases from which to launch attacks on Houthis, intensified rocket attacks on the  rebels in mountain strongholds to the east and northeast last week. The clashes resulted in casualties on both sides of the conflict.

Local residents and a military officer said the clashes coincided with Houthi drone flights over the area, which the Giants Brigade tried to shoot down.

Despite a ceasefire agreement reached last December in Stockholm, Sweden to halt an all out war in the port city of Hodeidah, residential areas around Hays have been the scene of violent clashes. 

In early 2018, Saudi-led coalition-backed forces, including the Giants Brigade, the Republican Forces and the Tihama Resistance liberated the city of Hays and large parts of the district’s rural areas. The Houthis have continued to control the mountainous highlands in Jabal Ras district to the east, making government troops vulnerable to rockets and artillery.

With this latest spat, the governor of Hodeidah, Dr. Al Hassan Al Taher, reiterated demands that the Stockholm agreement be scrapped and that the government military resume efforts to liberate Hodeidah from the Houthis.



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