Fighting continues in the northern Yemen town of Damaj today, with Houthi rebels fighting against pro-government Salafist militants. Reports have the death toll among the Salafists alone at more than 120, with Houthi casualties totally unknown at this point.
Fighting has been ongoing off-and-on throughout the month, with the Houthis accusing the Salafists of assembling thousands of foreign jihadists in Damaj, and the government insisting the Houthis are responsible for all the fighting.
The Houthis have secessionist ambitions and have clashed with the Yemeni government on a number of occasions in recent years. They have accused Yemen of moving Salafists into their region en masse to try to shore up the territory as more pro-government.
Both situations are bad for neighboring Saudi Arabia, which has itself fought the Shi’ite Houthis repeatedly over territory on the ill-defined desert border, but would seem to have even more problems if the Salafists, ideological brothers of al-Qaeda, come to dominate the area.
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