ADEN: Clashes between rebels and pro-government forces and Saudi-led air strikes killed at least 85 people in Yemen, medics and military sources said Sunday, after Riyadh pledged to fund a UN aid appeal.
The United Nations says hundreds of people have died and thousands of families have fled their homes since the coalition air war began on March 26 at the request of embattled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Since Saturday, fighting has concentrated on four key southern cities, while Saudi-led warplanes also pounded Huthi rebel positions in the area.
The deadliest clashes took place in the city of Daleh, where 31 Huthis and 17 pro-Hadi forces were killed on Sunday, a local official said, also reporting a series of air strikes on rebel positions.
Pre-dawn clashes in the southwestern city of Taez left 10 Huthi rebels and four pro-Hadi militiamen dead, medics and local sources said.
Taez, Yemen’s third largest city after the capital Sanaa and second city Aden in the south, has seen fierce clashes over the past week, after having been largely spared in fighting that has spread across several provinces.
On Sunday, coalition warplanes pounded Huthi positions in Taez, an AFP correspondent said, adding that the streets were empty and shops were closed.
Seven more Huthis were killed in an attack by tribesmen in the southern province of Shabwa.
In Aden, 11 Huthis and five pro-Hadi fighters were killed on Saturday night and Sunday morning, military sources said.
The pro-Hadi fighters recaptured the Russian consulate and a Hadi residence from the Huthis, they added.
The rebels, who seized Sanaa unopposed in September, have since expanded their control across the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
Saudi King Salman ordered the aid pledge following a UN appeal on Friday for $274 million (253 million euros) in emergency assistance for the millions affected by Yemen’s multi-sided conflict.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van Der Klaauw had said that “ordinary families are struggling to access healthcare, water, food and fuel — basic requirements for their survival”.