Al Mukalla: Yemeni forces backed massive air support from the Saudi-led coalition continued to make rapid military gains in the battle against Iran-backed Al Houthi militants on Thursday when the pro-government Giant Brigades stormed the centre of Mouza district west of the southern city of Taiz, days after liberating neighbouring Al Bareh town.
Abu Zara Al Muharami, a senior commander of the Red Sea front, told Gulf News that his forces seized control of the district’s centre, shortly after cutting off roads Al Houthi militants used to get in and out of the district.
“We have taken control of strategic roads between Kahboub, Al Ameri, Azzan, Al Mansoura, Sanefa and Al Wazyia and expect them to fall soon,” Al Muharami said, referring to rugged and scattered mountainous regions that stretch from Al Baresh, west of Taiz, to the strategic Bab Al Mandab region in the province of Lahj.
Government forces marching along the country’s Red Sea coastline were forced to avoid the rugged mountain areas where Al Houthi ambushes and landmines could slow their advance.
When thousands of National Resistance troops, led by Tariq Mohammad Abdullah Saleh, joined the battlefield, they were tasked along with other military units such Tehami resistance and the Giant Brigades to expel Al Houthis from the mountain areas.
The end goal is to cut a free path northward towards the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, the last major port in the country under Al Houthi control where they receive weapons from Iran.
Meanwhile, in the central province of Baydha, Yemen’s Defence Ministry said at least two dozen Al Houthi militants were killed and many others wounded in heavy clashes with government forces in different locations in the province.
In Baydha’s Qanea, government troops were able to push back an Al Houthi offensive on recently liberated areas in the region, killing at least 12 and seizing arms and ammunition.
At least 12 Al Houthis were also killed in Al Malajem district, east of Baydha, where government forces pushed into the district for the first time since Al Houthi occupation of the province three years ago.