People in Yemen’s northern city of Amran have retaken the control of an strategic area following fierce clashes with armed Takfiri militants.
The residents of Amran seized the strategic mountain of al-Jannat after pushing the militants out of the region.
Meanwhile, clashes continue between Houthi fighters and Takfiri militants as well as the armored 310 Brigade in Amran, despite a government call for ceasefire.
Last week, more than two dozen people, including 14 Houthi fighters, were killed in similar clashes in Amran’s suburbs.
Yemen’s Houthi movement, which draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, has been fighting against the central government in Sana’a for years. The Shia fighters blame the government for political, economic, and religious marginalization of the country’s Shia community and violating their civil rights.
In February, the Yemeni government agreed to transform the impoverished Arab state into a federation as part of a political transition. This would create four regions in the north and two in the south. But the government’s plan was flatly rejected by both the separatists in the south and the Houthi fighters, who argue that the initiative would divide Yemen into rich and poor regions.
The Houthi movement also played a key role in the popular revolution that forced former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February 2012.