The Saudi-led coalition backing legitimacy in Yemen deployed Tuesday new reinforcements from the Southern Resistance (SR) to stop Houthi advance in the southern governorate of Dhalea.
Units of the Aden-based SR forces arrived Tuesday in Dhalea to reinforce and back the forces countering the Houthi troops' advance in Qataba and Murais fronts, said local sources.
Troops, artillery and heavy weapons have been deployed in Jahaf Mont overlooking Hajar, Qataba and Sanah, sources added, while Houthis have sent large forces towards Fakhir area close to Qataba.
Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflict between the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014, triggering hard humanitarian conditions and the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.
On Thursday, the Security Belt (SB) forces of Dhalea declared the launch of "breath cut" battle to fend off Houthi advance.
The SB leadership has called upon all its personnel to reinforce fronts under the unified force and declared general mobilization and state of emergency in the districts of Qataba, Sanah and Shakhab.
On the 24th of last April, Houthi group claimed full control over Hosha district, three days after they announced control over Thi Na'em district of Bayda governorate.
Late in 2015, Houthis were forced out of Hosha.
Wins recently achieved by Houthis have raised controversy on social media, with local activists accusing pro-legitimacy key parties, mostly Islah, of colluding with Houthis.
The UN especial envoy to Yemen on Tuesday called on all warring parties to exercise self-restraint on military escalation in the southern governorate of Dhalea, asserting that escalation threatens peace efforts in a country plagued by 4-year war over power.
The UN envoy is very anxiously following the ongoing escalation in Dhalea, Envoy Martin Griffiths twitted, appealing for both sides to practice maximum self-restraint.
On Tuesday also, military sources at the official government said their forces, backed by SR and Arab coalition, retook control over some sites to the north of Dhalea during the last 24 hours.
More than 28 Houthi troops were killed or injured at the battles in Qataba and Hajar, the sources claimed without further details on government casualties.
On 4 May, the Southern Transitional Council (STC) chairman Edaroos al-Zabidi accused the Muslim-Brethren Islah Party of backing Houthis to reach southern provinces.
Southern leaders, activists and politicians accuse Islah-affiliated officials of persistently attacking the STC with rumors and lies, and of secretly backing the Houthis.
The STC has local forces trained and armed by the United Arab Emirates, the key partner of Saudi Arabia in leading the Arab coalition. But such forces do not answer to the official government,makeenemiesof Muslim Brethren and other Islamic groups, and controls many southern cities and districts.
The UAE-supported STC was established in May 2017 and consists of Yemeni southern bodies calling for separation from the north and restoration of south state that existed before Yemeni Unification in 1990.
On Tuesday, the STC Zabidi called SR leaders across the south for a broad meeting next Saturday.
The meeting is aimed at taking actions needed to tackle recent developments and Houthi escalation at "border fronts between south and north," said Salim Thabit al-Olaqi, STC official.
Another STC official, Lotfi Shatar, called the next gathering as "the meeting of hard options, after the freed south has become at risk of tri-aggression; Houthi, Islah and legitimate" government.