Yemeni pro-government forces take position during clashes against Shiite rebels in Yemen's western Dhubab district, about 30 kms north of the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait, on January 9, 2017. AFP / SALEH AL-OBEIDI
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Yemeni pro-government forces have launched a major offensive to push Houthi rebels from coastal areas, in a move analysts say aims to end a military stalemate and jump-start political talks. But the forces loyal to President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi – who are backed by an Arab-led military coalition – are facing divisions within their ranks that are hampering their efforts. Supported by coalition air and sea support, loyalist forces launched operation "Golden Spear" Saturday in Yemen's western Dhubab district, about 30 kilometers north of the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait. "The Houthis will not accept dialogue" unless they are forced into talks by a "change on the ground," he said.In 2015 coalition-backed government forces managed to recapture five southern provinces, but their advance has stalled. Member states of the coalition, who have been training and arming units of Yemeni forces, are also recruiting them from different backgrounds.
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