Al Mukalla: Yemeni government forces and the Southern Resistance backed by coalition forces wrested controlled of the strategic strait of Bab Al Mandab and a small island in the Red Sea from Al Houthi militiamen after brief clashes, a senior army official told Gulf News by telephone from the area.
“We cleared the coastline and entire mountains that overlook Bab Al Mandab region. We also drove Al Houthis out of Mayoun Island,” Major General Ahmad Saif, the commander of the military campaign and Aden-based 4th Military Region.
The coalition troops launched the campaign on the rebels’ military positions on Thursday morning following relentless airstrikes that paved the way for their advance.
“We also destroyed Al Houthi forces inside Brigade 17 and arrested some of them. We advanced after coalition warplanes and cannons strafed the area,” the general said, adding that "many" UAE troops have actively taken part in the operation.
A couple of days ago, residents in the port city of Aden reported seeing a large convoy of armoured personnel carriers and tanks carrying hundreds of soldiers leaving the city.
“When I saw the huge numebr of troops, I predicted that the Al Houthis would not resist and the area would be liberated easily.”
Yasser Al Yafae, a local journalist told Gulf News.
After driving Al Houthis out of the strait, government forces have secured Aden and are getting closer to pushing the rebels out of the densely-populated Taiz province.
In New York, Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has received UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.
During the meeting, Shaikh Abdullah congratulated President Hadi on his return to Aden, currently the temporary capital of Yemen.
Hadi thanked the UAE for its unwavering support for the Yemeni government.
President Hadi and Shaikh Abdullah discussed the latest developments in Yemen, bilateral relations, and ways to strengthen them, especially in the humanitarian area, to ease the suffering of the people of Yemen.
The Yemen News Agency quoted Hadi as praising the the UAE.
“This position bolsters cohesion between the two countries, thanks to the late Shaikh Zayed, who rebuilt the Marib Dam. And now the UAE is back to support Yemen and retake the Marib Dam from Al Houthi rebels who tampered with Yemen.”