- Yemeni officials: President Hadi's forces now control Al Anad airbase
- U.S. special operations forces had been at the military base as recently as March
- Houthi rebels have been under fire by Hadi's forces, Saudi airstrikes
Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi's fighters are now in complete control of Al Anad airbase after fierce fighting there, said Yemeni Defense Ministry officials who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, as is customary in Yemen.
At least 40 people were killed in that operation, according to the officials. And the fighting is far from over with clashes taking place in five other locations in Yemen's Lahj province.
It's all part of the turmoil and violence that has wracked Yemen for months, as the Houthis -- a minority group that has long held sway in northern Yemen -- increasingly asserted themselves elsewhere in the country, including taking over the capital of Yemen early this year.
Hadi resigned in January
, only to come back later (after fleeing the country) to claim he is still Yemen's rightful president. He has gotten support from, among others, Saudi Arabia's government, which launched airstrikes on Houthi targets in March.
There has been off-and-on talks of ceasefires, but nothing so far has stuck. Instead, the Houthis have lost more and more ground to forces tied to Hadi.
The fall of Al Anad, probably Yemen's most recognized military facility, could be another significant domino in this trend.
The base had been home to U.S. military forces who'd worked with Hadi's government to go after al Qaeda terrorists in the country. About 100 U.S. Special Operations forces evacuated that base in March
due to Yemen's deteriorating security situation, sources in the region familiar with the situation told CNN.