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Al Houthi missile expert killed in air strike

Iran-backed militant group has lost hundreds of commanders in the last three years of war

Gulf News

Al Mukalla: An Al Houthi missile expert was killed in an air strike by Saudi-led coalition fighter jets in the northern province of Saada, Al Houthis’ main bastion, Yemen’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

Brigadier Abdullah Saeed Al Jaberi, the commander of the artillery and missile unit at Brigade 122 and a number of his associates were killed when the coalition’s fighter jets struck their positions in the contested Ketaf district, north of Saada province. Al Houthi media outlets mourned the death of Al Jaberi.

Dealing another major blow to Al Houthis’ military leadership, the coalition fighter jets killed Brigadier Nasser Al Qubari, a field commander, and several militants in Saada province, the ministry said.

Hundreds of Al Houthi military commanders, including several high-ranking officers, have been killed over the last three years in clashes with government forces or by the coalition’s fighter jets.

In Saada, army officers say Al Houthis have amassed forces and planted a large number of landmines on battlefields to block the government’s advances inside their main heartland.

Pro-government forces have recently intensified their assaults against Al Houthi-held territories in the west, east and north of Saada in a bid to cut off the key province from neighbouring provinces.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Jawf, as 20 Al Houthi militants were killed on Wednesday in a foiled attack on government-controlled areas in Al Masloub district, west of the province, Jawf Media Centre reported.

After mobilising forces over the previous couple of days, Al Houthis mounted an offensive against government forces in Al Masloub on Wednesday morning with the aim of recapturing Sedah and Malhan regions.

Al Houthis’ offensive triggered a fierce battle that lasted for six hours as both sides used heavy and medium weapons.

The centre said government forces pushed back Al Houthis and killed roughly around 20 militants and injured dozens others.

Saudi-led coalition fighter jets destroyed Al Houthis’ military equipment and militants before reaching the Al Masloub battlefield.

In the Red Sea Medi city, Yemeni government and coalition’s explosive experts have combed the liberated city in an effort to defuse thousands of landmines planted by the defeated Al Houthis.

Yemeni, Saudi and Sudanese troops have recently taken control of the strategic city which is famous for its seaport.

Fighting also intensified in the central province of Baydha where government forces seized control of mountainous locations that overlook a military camp in Al Maljem district.

Thanks to massive air and military logistics support from the Saudi-led coalition, forces loyal to the internationally- recognised government reversed Al Houthis’ rapid gains and pushed deeper into Saada and Sana’a provinces.

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