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Joint Southern Forces gather in the province of Dhale. Image Credit: Courtesy - Dhale Media Centre

Cairo: Joint Yemeni forces have made vast territorial gains against Iran-aligned Al Houthi militia in the southern province of Dhale and closed in on the neighbouring province of Ibb, military sources have said.

The progress comes after a massive offensive launched on Tuesday by the joint forces of the southern resisance fighters and the government troops against Al Houthi militiamen in the northern and western parts of Dhale, the province’s media centre reported.

The onslaught resulted in recapture of dozens of positions and villages from Al Houthis and inflicting heavy casualties on them, according to the centre.

“The Southern Forces are steadily advancing towards liberating [Al Houthi-controlled] province of Ibb,” Col. Majed Al Shouaibi, the spokesman for the Joint Southern Forces, said.

He told the centre that the push also aims at fully securing Dhale, known as the “gate of the south”.

The Yemeni forces also seized a cache of weapons including drones that Al Houthis previously used in attacking liberated sites in Dhale, military sources said, according Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.

Al Houthis plunged Yemen in war in late 2014 when they toppled the country’s internationally recognised government and seized parts of the impoverished country including the capital Sana’a.

An Arab alliance, co-led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, is fighting the Iran-supported militia in Yemen upon a request from its government.