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    A Yemeni fighter. (File)

    Yemeni Army Kills Over 40 Saudi-Backed Fighters Near Bab el-Mandeb

    © AFP 2018 / NABIL HASSAN
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    A Yemeni army offensive near the Bab el-Mandeb region in the country's southwest resulted in the death of 40 Saudi-backed fighters, including their commander, local media reported Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The military source also noted that Saudi forces were "surprised" by the operations carried out by the Yemeni army on Saturday, and sustained heavy military equipment losses, the news agency reported.

    "Over 40 Saudi-backed mercenaries, including their senior commander Heisam Qassem Taher, were killed in the Yemeni army offensive in the Southwestern part of Ta'iz province near Bab al-Mandab," a military source told the al-Masira TV channel, as quoted by Fars News Agency.

    Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

    Since March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at the request of Hadi.

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    Houthis, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
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