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Al Houthi losses mount amid army offensive

Operation Golden Arrow aims to kick Al Houthis from the Red Sea coastline and liberate Taiz

Image Credit: AFP
Yemeni forces have launched a major offensive to Al Houthi militants from coastal areas.
Gulf News

Al Mukalla: Yemeni forces are “on the verge” of taking control of Al Jadeed region on the tenth day of a major offensive to push Iran-backed Al Houthi militants from the western coast of the country, army commanders and fighters said on Sunday.

Brigadier General Abdo Majili, a spokesperson for the army, told Gulf News government forces, under massive air cover from the Saudi-led Arab coalition, are marching towards Al Jadeed, a small port region on the Red Sea, after killing dozens of Al Houthis in heavy clashes.

“Government forces have fought their way into Al Jadeed after defusing landmines planted by Al Houthis in the liberated areas of Dhobab and Al Ameri,” he said.

On January 6, government forces including army troops and local resistance fighters launched a massive military offensive named Operation Golden Arrow with the help of military experts from the Saudi-led coalition.

Since then, rebel forces have suffered major setbacks in the area.

Army commanders loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi have repeatedly accused the rebel movement of receiving arms shipments from Iran through the seaport of Mocha town.

The last phase of the offensive includes liberating Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city.

Local military and media sources say that the flow of heavy arms from the port city of Aden to the battlefields in the west have continued, a signal to the coalition’s determination to press on with the offensive despite fierce fighting with Al Houthis.

Modern arms have played a huge role in helping the forces liberate many rugged areas the Taiz province.

“The moderns arms like canons, tanks and armours have enabled us to take control of rough mountains in Taiz,” he said.

Before liberating Mocha, however, government forces must recapture two other small ports, Kadha and Wahja, he explained.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Jawf, government forces scored fresh gains on the ground after taking control of a popular market in the Metoun district, making them closer to fully liberating the district from Al Houthis’ hold.

“Only 16 per cent of the province is still under Al Houthi control,” he said.

And in the Al Houthi heartland of Saada, which is a neighbouring province of Jawf, fighting raged on a strategic road that links the two provinces.

“If we take control of the road in the coming days, we will be able to bring in weapons to the battlefield in Saada,” Majili said.

Currently, Yemeni forces fighting in Saada, rely on supplies coming in from Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said that a Saudi soldier was killed on the country’s southern border with Yemen.

A Border Guards’ post in Najran region came under attack from “intensive shelling” at 5pm (1400 GMT) on Saturday, killing a corporal, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab coalition fighting in Yemen to restore Hadi’s government after Al Houthis took over in 2014.

Hadi’s government was moved to the southern port city of Aden in the interim.

More than 7,400 people have been killed in Yemen, where United Nations mediation and seven ceasefires have failed to stop the fighting.

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