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Southern opposition forces in Yemen battle Houthis

A group of local militias calling themselves the Southern Popular Resistance have been fighting to expel Houthi fighters from the southern regions of Yemen.

A fighter from the Southern Popular Resistance mans a machine gun on the front line of fighting against Houthi fighters, on the outskirts of Yemen's southern port city of Aden on June 6, 2015. Photo by Reuters

A fighter from the Southern Popular Resistance mans a machine gun on the front line of fighting against Houthi fighters, on the outskirts of Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on June 6, 2015. Photo by Reuters

An anti-Houthi fighter of the Southern Popular Resistance aims his anti-aircraft gun as comrades watch on the front line of their fight against Houthi fighters in Aden on June 4, 2015. Photo by Reuters

An anti-Houthi fighter of the Southern Popular Resistance aims his anti-aircraft gun as comrades watch on the front line of their fight against Houthi fighters in Aden on June 4, 2015. Photo by Reuters

Currently the Southern Popular Resistance is centralized around the southern Yemeni city of Aden, a site of intense anti-Houthi bombing by the Saudi coalition.

Anti-Houthi fighters of the Southern Popular Resistance stand near a tank in Yemen's southern port city of Aden on May 16, 2015. Photo by Reuters

Anti-Houthi fighters of the Southern Popular Resistance stand near a tank in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on May 16, 2015. Photo by Reuters

Fighters throughout the south oppose the Houthis’ attempt at armed takeover, but are not necessarily supportive of the status quo either.

Some support southern Yemen’s independence, harkening back to the early 1990s, before the south and north were unified by civil war.

Fighters of the anti-Houthi Southern Popular Resistance committee secure a highway road linking Yemen's capital Sanaa with southern provinces on May 5, 2015. Photo by Reuters

Fighters of the anti-Houthi Southern Popular Resistance committee secure a highway road linking Yemen’s capital Sanaa with southern provinces on May 5, 2015. Photo by Reuters

A Southern Popular Resistance fighter walks on a tank in Yemen's southern city of Aden on May 3, 2015. Photo by Reuters

A Southern Popular Resistance fighter walks on a tank in Yemen’s southern city of Aden on May 3, 2015. Photo by Reuters

The Houthis are a Shiite rebel group that took control of Yemen’s capital Sanaa in September and then drove Sunni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of the country in March.

They are backed by the Shiite Iranian government, but have been consistently bombed by a Saudi Arabia-led Arab alliance — supported by the United States — since March 26, 2015.

Reuters reported on May 25 that local militias had successfully expelled Houthi fighters from Dalea, a city approximately 105 miles north of Aden.

Saudi Arabia, a staunch supporter of Hadi’s Sunni government, has actively intervened in its neighbor’s politics since Yemen’s modern birth 25 years ago, according to Reuters.

A boy walks at the site of a Saudi-led air strike that hit a residential areanear Sanaa airport, on May 18, 2015. Photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

A boy walks at the site of a Saudi-led air strike that hit a residential areanear Sanaa airport, on May 18, 2015. Photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

On May 27, the World Heath Organization estimated that 2,000 people have been killed and 8,000 injured in the conflict so far.

The WHO warned of a health crisis in Yemen due both to the violence, and to the dismantling of health infrastructure that has escalated in the country since the fighting began.

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