Al Mukalla: Fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition on Sunday morning attacked military sites controlled by the Iran-backed Al Houthi movement in Sana’a as government forces battled rebels on the ground on different fronts.
Residents told Gulf News that fighter jets fired missiles at Al Daylami airbase near Sana’a airport and several other locations, setting off thunderous explosions that rocked the entire city.
The coalition has been extensively bombing Al Houthi military sites in Sana’a where ballistic missiles and ammunition are stored.
Military experts believe by striking military camps and mountains in Sana’a, the coalition seeks to cut off arms supplies to troubled rebel fighters in Nehim, just outside of the Yemeni capital Sana’a.
The coalition has continued deploying heavy arms and tanks in Nehim’s rugged mountains to shore up government forces struggling to make a major military breakthrough that could lead to recapturing Sana’a from the rebels.
In the northern province of Hajja, coalition fighter jets and helicopters struck Al Houthi fighters in support of government forces clashing with rebels on the outskirts of Media City just north of Haradh.
The official Facebook page of the 5th Military Region said on Sunday that dozens of rebels were killed and injured in the fighting and many Al Houthi armed vehicles were destroyed in the air strikes.
Similar heavy clashes were also reported in the northern province of Saada, the heartland of the Al Houthi movement, where government fighter jets continue to target arms depots, killing several rebel fighters. The air strikes focused around Al Tha’ar mountain and other locations on the Bouqa front, north of Sa’ada.
Meanwhile in Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city, the state-run Saba news agency reported on Sunday that as many as seven Al Houthi fighters were killed and 17 injured in battles with government forces on the city’s western edges.
Government forces ambushed two dozen rebel fighters who were heading towards government-held locations.
The rebels retreated to their positions, but not before losing several fighters.
Army commanders told Gulf News that coalition fighter jets also pounded Al Houthi reinforcements on the Red Sea Khokha region and Hodeidah.
The coalition’s modern and advanced weaponry have played a major role in reversing the tide of the war in favour of government forces. Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi recently said his forces are now in control of 80 per cent of the country’s land.
Hadi came to power in early 2012 after massive Arab Spring protests ousted former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who ruled Yemen for over 30 years.
He was forced to decamp to the city of Aden after escaping Al Houthi-imposed house arrest after the rebels took over the government in a coup in 2014.
Since then, Hadi shifted government headquarters to Aden from where he has led an offensive to liberate Al Houthi-occupied territories.
With help from the Saudi-led Arab coalition, it has achieved widespread gains in many provinces, but Al Houthi’s still control the capital Sana’a and most northern provinces including Hodeidah, Ibb, Mahweet, Yareem, Amran, Baydha and Hajja.