Al Mukalla: Fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition launched massive air strikes against Al Houthi military sites, killing dozens of militiamen as government forces made limited advances on the battlefields. Local media reports have said the heaviest air strikes hit military camps controlled by Al Houthis in the northern province of Dhamar. Al Masdar Online, an independent news site, said there were 17 raids against military sites and recruitment centres in Anes district in the province, which killed and injured dozens of Al Houthis. As many as 13 consecutive strikes were launched on a secret military camp in Dhamar’s Bani Soued region. The coalition’s fighter jets also destroyed a convoy of military vehicles heading to a battlefield in the central province of Baydha.
Al Houthis seized control of Dhamar province in October 2014 during the early days of their military expansion. Local military commanders have said the Iran-backed group has turned the province into a large recruitment centre, where they train new fighters. The recent escalating air strikes are aimed at cutting off the flow of fighters and military equipment to battlefields in Taiz, Baydha, Hajja, and Hodeida.
Yemen’s Defence Ministry also said the coalition’s fighter jets struck Al Houthi’s arms depots and military camps in Al Hayma Al Dakhlia district in Sana’a province. The air raids triggered large explosions that lasted for hours, according to a statement on the ministry’s official news site. Al Houthis have used the district’s rugged mountains to store arms and ammunition.
Meanwhile on the battlefront, government forces attacked Al Houthi positions along a mountain chain in Nehim district, just outside of Al Houthi-held Sana’a. The Defence Ministry said fighting broke out in Maysra region in Nehim when government forces assaulted Al Houthi defences.
On the Red Sea front, fighting intensified outside Al Jarrahi town in the western province of Hodeida as government troops pushed to break across Al Houthi lines around the town. The assault came as military sappers from Yemen and the Saudi-led coalition cleared a large swathe of liberated land in Hodeida of landmines and booby traps.
Massive air support from coalition fighter jets was credited for paving the way for government forces to gain the upper hand across Yemen. The coalition launched heavy bombardment in March 2015 enabling government forces to expel Al Houthis and Al Qaida from almost 80 per cent of Yemeni territory.