Clashes in several areas across Yemen on Friday killed 22 Shiite rebels and 11 members of pro-government forces, military officials said, after peace talks hit a new barrier.
Fierce battles erupted in the northern Jawf province when Houthi rebels attacked loyalists in Al-Motoon district, triggering a counter attack by government forces backed by warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition, a military official said. The fighting left 13 rebels dead, while eight loyalists were killed by mistake in an air strike that missed its target, the official added.
Further south, three Houthi rebels were killed in clashes in Bayhan, Shabwa province, another military official said.
And in the southwestern flashpoint city of Taiz, six rebels and three loyalists were killed in renewed fighting when insurgents attacked government troops on the southwestern outskirts of the city, a military official said.
Clashes have continued despite a UN-brokered cease-fire that entered into effect on April 11 and paved the way for peace talks in Kuwait.
Those talks received a new blow on Thursday when government representatives demanded a full withdrawal of Iran-backed rebels from territory seized since 2014.
On Wednesday, the rebel delegation said it would not sign up to any deal on military and security issues until there was agreement on a consensus president and a national unity government to oversee the transition.
The peace roadmap put forward by UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed proposed the formation of a unity government in tandem with the withdrawal and disarmament of the rebels, although he acknowledged major differences between the two sides’ timetables.