Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi rebels have suffered a major setback in their recent push against the Arhab district, near the capital city of Sanaa, when Sunni tribesmen ambushed them, killing at least 42 Houthis.
The Houthis have been fighting over the Sunni-dominated district for over a week, trying to impose control over the area and kidnapping a number of Sunni tribesmen. It is believed the kidnappings are the reason for today’s ambush.
The Houthis seized Sanaa in September, and have seized considerable territory south along the sea. They have also fought into al-Qaeda’s territory closer to Aden.
Houthi-linked officials have been given some positions in the government in recent weeks, but there remains considerable internal uncertainty over the government’s composition, with Houthis aiming to assert further control.