Aden (AFP & WAM): Yemeni government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, have seized two major rebel supply routes into the key port city of Hodeida, military sources said Wednesday.
Abdul Rahman Saleh Abu Zaraa, head of the brigade fighting Yemen’s Al Houthi militia in Hodeida province, told AFP his forces had taken the insurgents’ main supply route linking the port city to the capital Sana’a, known as Kilo 16.
Nearly three quarters of crucial imports to impoverished Yemen pass through Hodeida, including humanitarian aid.
The Saudi-backed forces also seized a second supply route around Hodeida, known as Kilo 10, earlier on Wednesday, military sources said.
The joint Yemeni Resistance Forces, led by the Al Amalaqah Brigades, have taken control of the Kilometre 10 area. Supported by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition Forces, the Al Amalaqah Brigades inflicted heavy losses on the lives and material of Al Houthi militias in a surprise operation, with dozens being killed or wounded and many others being taken captive.
The joint Yemeni Resistance Forces, backed by the Arab Coalition forces, launched a large-scale military operation from the eastern axis of the Al Duraihmi District towards the Kilometre 16 area. The operation was planned so as to protect the safety of civilians, including those being used by Al Houthis as human shields.
During the operation, the Al Amalaqah Brigades took control of large areas between the Al Duraihmi District and the Kilometre 16 area, including Wadi Al Qa’um, Wadi Al Mashagna and the villages of Lower Juraibah, Upper Juraibah, Al Zafran and Al Mukamania. The forces also succeeded in separating the southern districts of Hodeida province from the northern directorates such as Zabid, Al Tahita, Al Duraihmi, Beit Al Faqih and Al Mansouriya, thereby tightening the screws on Al Houthi militia inside Hodeida.
The Saudi-led coalition says Al Houthis are smuggling arms from Iran through Hodeida.
In June, Yemen’s pro-government forces, led on the ground by the UAE, launched a major operation to retake both the city and port of Hodeida.
In July, the coalition announced a temporary ceasefire in Hodeida to give a chance to UN-brokered peace talks.
But UN attempts to hold peace talks between Yemen’s internationally-recognised government and Al Houthis, were abandoned on Saturday after the rebels refused to leave Yemen for Geneva.
Coalition offered Al Houthi delegation all help
Riyadh (WAM): The coalition has provided all assistance for Al Houthi delegation to travel to Geneva, said Colonel Turki Al Maliki, spokesman for the Coalition Forces in support of Legitimacy in Yemen.
In a press conference in Riyadh on Tuesday, Al Maliki added that the coalition has taken all measures to secure maritime navigation from Al Houthi threats.
The coalition spokesman said that six ballistic missiles targeting civilian areas in Saudi Arabia were intercepted, adding that a large number of these missiles fell on Yemeni land. He stated that most of these were intercepted, contrary to what Al Houthi media is reporting.
Al Maliki listed the latest field gains for the Yemeni army with the support of coalition forces, adding that there were fierce battles in the southern city of Dalea. He said the Yemeni army and Arab Coalition forces are working on cutting off Al Houthi supply lines between Sana’a and Hodeidah.
“The Al Houthi militias continue to move booby-trapped boats to target international navigation. We are taking all measures to stop the Al Houthi threat on international navigation,” Al Maliki said, adding, “There must be international pressure on Al Houthi militias to participate in efforts towards a political solution. The Duraihmi directorate is besieged from all sides and Al Houthi supply lines have been cut from that area.”
The coalition is continuing to issue permits for ships to facilitate the relief work, Al Maliki said, and he also presented photos and maps showing where Al Houthi ballistic missiles recently landed.