Arab coalition forces up the ante in Yemen’s third-largest city Taiz. Image Credit: WAM

Al Mukalla: Yemeni military units have taken control of Al Wazyia district and a military camp in the province of Taiz close to the strategic Bab Al Mandab Strait as other loyalists consolidate their control over liberated areas in Taiz and Hodeida.

Backed by massive air support from the Saudi-led coalition, the pro-government Giants Brigades stormed Al Ameri military camp west of the city of Taiz on Friday, shortly after seizing control of a chain of mountains with the same name, Abu Zara Al Muharami, the commander of the Brigades told Gulf News by telephone.

He added that his forces killed and wounded dozens of Al Houthi militiamen and their next target was the Red Sea city of Hodeida.

Yemen’s Defence Ministry said Al Ameri camp is located 10km east of Dhubab region, and is geographically protected by a chain of mountains that enabled Al Houthis to hold on to it for long time despite attacks by government forces.

The capture of Al Ameri, which is on a road that links four districts in Taiz, would help government troops to dispatch military supplies to battlefields around the besieged Taiz city, Yemen’s third largest.

Al Houthi defences began to crumble last week when thousands of troops from Tehami resistance, the Giant Brigades and the National Resistance forces led by General Tarek Mohammad Abdullah Saleh launched a massive offensive on key towns and mountains west of Taiz such as Kahboub, Al Wazyia, Mouza, Al Ameri and Al Bareh.

Supported by UAE air power and military advisers on the ground, the troops seized control of swathes of land west of Taiz, killing and capturing dozens of Al Houthis, including field commanders. The same forces are pushing westward to meet government forces that are battling to break Al Houthis’ hold on Taiz.

Meanwhile, in Hodeida province, government troops advanced into the Al Tuhayata district a day after seizing control of Al Hayma seaport on the Red Sea.

The commander of Tehami Resistance, Abdul Rahman Hajjar, told Gulf News his forces are pushing to seize control Al Tuhayata and Al Jarrahi districts in the province of Hodeida before heading northward towards the port city of Hodeida, the last major seaport under Al Houthi control.