Yemeni officials say forces loyal to the country's internationally recognized government have recaptured a key crossroads town in the southwestern province of Hodeidah in an effort to cut off supply lines to the Shiite rebels.

Yemen's war pits a Saudi-led coalition allied with the internationally recognized government against Shiite Houthi rebels, who are allied with Iran and control much of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

The officials said Tuesday that forces backed by airstrikes from the Saudi coalition have taken control of the town of Hays after two weeks of fierce fighting against the rebels. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The officials say the fighting has killed at least 85 people from both sides in the past 48 hours.