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Yemeni army designates northern region ‘hostile area’

Gulf Arab Region | 2018-06-07 16:14:00
Yemeni army designates northern region ‘hostile area’
The Yemeni army early Thursday declared the Al-Mutun Directorate, located in the country’s northern Al-Jawf province, a “hostile area” and called for the evacuation of civilian residents.

In a statement, the army condemned what it described as the use of civilian areas by Houthi rebels for military purposes.

Yemen’s Saudi-backed government frequently accuses the rebel group of using residential areas -- in Al-Mutun and elsewhere -- as staging points for military operations and for weapons storage.

Recent months have seen fierce clashes between the Yemeni army and Houthi rebels in Al-Jawf’s northern and western districts, which have reportedly left hundreds dead on both sides.

Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab its allies -- who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The following year, UN-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait failed to produce any tangible breakthroughs.

The violence has devastated the country’s basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Anadolu Agency
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