Al Mukalla: Intense air strikes by the Saudi-led military coalition jets have killed dozens of Al Houthis and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh in many front lines across Yemen, tribal leaders and officials said.
Heavy bombardment by the warplanes on Al Sagia military camp in the northern province of Jawf on Wednesday killed 35 Al Houthis and soldiers of the elite Republican Guards, according to Abdullah Al Ashraf, a spokesperson for Jawf resistance.
Al Ashraf told Gulf News the warplanes destroyed three armed vehicles carrying Al Houthi fighters in the area. “There were some military experts from the Republican Guards inspecting Al Houthi fighters. We tipped off the coalition about those experts when we learnt about their presence in the camp,”
Fighting between government forces and the rebel fighters usually flare up ahead of any new round of peace talks. Government officials say that the rebels intensified their shelling and attacks in a bid to regain control of new regions before the planned ceasefire on April 10.
Al Ashraf cast doubt over Al Houthis’ ability to honour the ceasefire.
“There have been multiple agreements and ceasefires since Dammaj. Al Houthis never respected any of them,” he said referring to the rebels’ bloody clashes with the Salafis in the region of Dammaj, Saada province in 2013.
Despite the intensity of Al Houthi counter-attacks, government forces continue to score victories in the large province. Al Ashraf said they are marching towards Sana’a and Saada provinces from two sides, adding that if the government forces recaptured the districts of Al Zaher and Al Mattama, they would fight rebels in the border with Saada and Sana’a.
“We arrested 80 Al Houthi fighters since last week.”
In the capital, coalition warplanes pounded military installations and suspected arms deports. Residents reported on Thursday hearing big explosions on Faj Attan mountain and other areas.
Al Houthis stepped up their shelling on the besieged Taiz on Thursday apparently to force resistance fighters and army troops to pull out of some areas in the city. Mohammed Al Qubati, head of the Supreme Medical Committee, told Gulf News that the rebels bombed the city with anti-aircraft guns and mortar shells amid tight blockade that prevented medical supplies from reaching the city.
Al Qubati said that many charities were forced into using risky rugged roads to circumvent Al Houthi-controlled checkpoints on the edges of the city. “Today we received humanitarian aid including drugs, medical supplies and foodstuffs from Silah Foundation in Hadramout.”