50 Killed in Heavy Fighting in Central Yemen’s Bayda

30 Houthis, 20 pro-Saudi troops among the slain

After several days of fighting in Yemen’s Maarib Province, there are now reports of clashes spreading southward, with at least 50 fighters killed in the last 24 hours in the Bayda Province.

Officials said that 30 Houthis were killed in the fighting, and 20 pro-government fighters. The slain included a colonel on the pro-government side. It’s not clear if territory changed hands, though Houthi forces are gaining ground.

While Maarib has been contested heavily since February, Bayda has also seen its share of fighting. The Houthis have held much of Bayda, and when pro-Saudi forces make progress in Maarib they tend to try to extend into the south.

Officials say that the Houthi deaths in Bayda included some from fighting, but also many from airstrikes. The Saudis have been carrying out a growing number of airstrikes in both provinces in recent weeks, trying to maintain ground in the face of Houthi reinforcements.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.