ADEN, Yemen, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition made major progress and seized a key district in the Houthi-controlled port city of Hodeidah on Monday, a military official told Xinhua.
Backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the newly-recruited troops alongside with battalions from Southern Resistance made significant advances and liberated Durayhmi district and all surrounding areas from Houthi fighters, the military source said on condition of anonymity.
The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels withdrew and failed to stop the rapid advancement of the UAE-backed Yemeni troops in Hodeidah, the source said.
He added that intensified aerial bombardment from the Saudi-led warplanes air-covered the government forces on-ground during the Red Sea coast fighting with Houthis.
According to the military source, scores of young fighters of Houthis abandoned fighting and surrendered themselves to the government forces, which vowed to seize the Hodiedah's airport and the city's seaport within the upcoming 48 hours.
Earlier in the day, local media outlets reported that the Houthi-appointed governor of Hodeidah escaped the city, as the government forces were less than 18km away from the densely populated city.
Sky News Arabia TV channel based in Abu Dhabi reported huge fallbacks by the Houthis as Yemen's government forces quickly advanced in Houthi-controlled areas amid havoc and chaos within the rebels' lines.
However, the Iranian-backed Houthis vowed to fight tooth and nail to maintain their grip over the strategic port city of Hodeidah and dispatched elite forces from Sanaa.
Thousands of landmines and explosives were placed by Houthis in and around the Hodeidah, according to local residents.
Anti-bomb disposal units from the UAE-backed Yemeni troops arrived and started to de-activate the landmines.
Medical officials confirmed to Xinhua that scores of soldiers from both warring sides were either killed or injured as a result of the bloody clashes taking place over the control of Hodeidah.
The Saudi and Emirati-backed Yemeni forces continue in making advancement during the battles taking place with Houthis on Yemen's west coast near the port city, a crucial import hub for humanitarian supplies.
Military observers said that the Houthis are facing a mounting pressure and failed to prevent the government forces push in the Red Sea coast areas.
The Houthi rebels are losing their grip on the western provinces and their territory is shrinking in a daily basis.
The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.
Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Iran-backed Houthi rebels forced him into exile.