Al Mukalla: The Yemeni army battling Al Houthi militants on the Nehim battleground received a boost in morale when they were visited by Vice president, Lieut. General Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar, on the front lines on Sunday.
The fighters also received new military equipment.
They have been making incremental gains in the past week.
At least 25 Al Houthis have been killed and dozens injured over the last couple of days on the Nehim front just outside of the Yemeni capital Sana’a amid raging fighting between government forces and the Iran-backed Al Houthi militia, local military commanders said on Monday.
Fighting intensified on Monday as government forces pushed forward with a fresh military offensive designed to break months of a military stalemate in the rugged district.
Abdullah Al Shandaqi, a spokesperson for the 7th Military Region, told Gulf News on Monday that government forces have killed as many as 100 Al Houthis since the beginning of offensive a week ago and destroyed rebels’ military equipment.
“The national army forces have liberated a number of mountains on Sunday and Monday. We seek to take complete control of Nehim district and push for Arhab,” Al Shandaqi said by telephone after visiting the battlefield.
Fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition carried dozens of sorties, hitting Al Houthi military gatherings and reinforcement that were flowing to the battlefield from the capital, Al Shandaqi said.
Government forces, backed by logistical and air support from the Saudi-led military coalition, scored an important victory early last year when it entered into the Al Houthi-held Sana’a province for the first time since the beginning of the war in 2015.
Government forces ousted the rebels from a major military post and key hilly positions, but then entered a long military stalemate after pushing into rugged mountains of Nehim.
Brigadier General Abdo Abdullah Majili, a Yemeni army spokesperson, told Gulf News on Sunday that Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his deputy are directly overseeing the battle for Nehim.
Meanwhile, in the southern province of Lahj, resistance fighters in the Tour Al Baha region announced killing, inuring and capturing dozens of Al Houthi militants during continuing clashes on a chain of rugged mountains.
Aden Al Ghad news site reported on Monday that Al Sabiha tribesmen recaptured hilly locations in Tour Al Baha from Al Houthi militants who managed to make limited gains in recent weeks.
Residents in Lahj complain that Al Houthis who hide in Tour Al Baha’s mountains shell villages causing deaths and destruction.
Also in the south, a soldier was killed and another was injured when an IED planted by Al Qaida militants ripped through their vehicle in Al Mahfad district in the province of Abyan.