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Hadi rules out ending Yemen crisis through talks

Troops inflict heavy casualties on Al Houthis who staged a sneak attack on Khokha

  • Yemeni government forces take their positions in Qubita, LahjImage Credit: Courtesy: Facebook
  • Yemeni government forces take their positions in Qubita, LahjImage Credit: Courtesy: Facebook
Gulf News

Al Mukalla: Yemen’s president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has said the current intensive military operations by his forces, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, would put an end to the Al Houthi coup, ruling out any possibility of engaging in peace talks with the militia. The state-run Saba news agency said that Hadi called his military commanders on major fronts to get updates on recent territorial gains and instructed them to carry on with their assaults until Al Houthis are purged from whole areas under their control.

Hadi’s remark comes as his forces, supported by military advisers from the Saudi-led coalition on the ground, have made key victories in Hodeida, Jawf, Lahj, and Sana’a Nehim. In the western province of Hodeida, fighting subsided in areas near government — controlled Khokha region on Tuesday, days after loyalists pushed back a major offensive by Al Houthis to recapture the Red Sea area.

Abu Zara’a Al Mouhrrami, a field commander on the Red Sea front, told Gulf News on Tuesday that dozens of Al Houthis were killed or injured when they assaulted government forces north of Khokha. Al Mouhrrami said that the Al Houthis assembled a large number of fighters and then deployed them on motorbikes that sneaked into farms outside Khokha.

The militia’s targets were Khokha and a military post seized by government forces late last year. In the early hours of their offensive, Al Houthis managed to take northern suburbs of Khokha before government troops besieged them. Fighting raged when the besieged Al Houthis tried to put up a fight. The Al Houthis failed to reach their target and fled the battlefield after losing dozens of their fighters. Graphic photos sent to Gulf News showed bodies of dead Al Houthis scattered on former battlefield.

Military experts say that Al Houthi’s last offensive on Khokha is another desperate attempt by the Iran-backed Yemeni militia to stop government forces’ advances in Hodeida province.

For the first time since the beginning of the war, government forces managed to push deeper into the province of Hodeida, forcing the militia into fleeing to Hodeida city, the last major coastal city held by Al Houthis. Yemen’s government and the Saudi-led coalition have been pressuring the militia to surrender the city of Hodeida peacefully for the last couple of years. When the United Nations (UN) envoy to Yemen and foreign ambassadors failed to convince Al Houthis to quit Hodeida, a major offensive that started from Aden early last year was resumed and government forces have stationed almost 95km south of Hodeida.

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