MIDDLE EAST

Houthi rebels claiming ‘fake victory’: Yemeni minister

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Yemeni Information Minister Muammar al-Iryani has accused Houthi rebels of claiming a "fake victory" to cover up their political dilemma.

On Sunday, the Houthi group said it had carried out a major attack near the border with Saudi Arabia, claiming that three "enemy military brigades had fallen".

"The Iran-backed Houthi militia attempts to propagate false victory through its media tools at a time when it is sustaining heavy losses in troops and machinery on a daily basis," al-Iryani said in statements cited by the official Saba news agency.

"The Houthi militia is propagating these victories with a view to covering up its political and military dilemma, raising up the shaken morale of its members and continuing its proxy war for their masters in Tehran," he said.

The Houthis released a video showing an attack on armored vehicles that the rebel group claimed killed and injured hundreds of Saudi-led coalition troops.

The footage shows a long line of captured troops, dressed in thongs and traditional Yemeni clothing, who appear to be men that surrendered to the rebels.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified.

The Yemeni minister said Houthi rebels have sustained "heavy losses" in all fronts across Yemen.

"The Yemeni army, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, managed to regain hundreds of kilometers in Saada and Hajjah provinces from the rebels," he said.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country's pro-Saudi government.

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