SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni security and military officials say forces loyal to Yemen's internationally recognized president have launched an attack on Shiite rebels around the southeastern port city of Mocha, unleashing heavy fighting that has killed some 38 fighters from both sides.
They said Wednesday that the fighting began a day earlier and was supported by the Saudi-led coalition opposing the rebels, known as Houthis. The military officials say troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi aim to take the area's key port at Hodeida, further north.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief journalists.
The Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the rebels two years ago that has failed to drive them from the capital and other territory they control.