• May 20, 2018
    Last updated 3 minutes ago

yemen

Yemen army liberates seaport south of Hodeida

Joint offensive by three brigades aims to oust Al Houthis from areas in Hodeida and Taiz provinces

Saeed Al Batati, Correspondent
16:09 May 11, 2018
Yemenis check the site of air strikes

Al Mukalla: Yemeni government troops backed by the Saudi-led coalition have liberated a strategic seaport south of Red Sea port city of Hodeida as an offensive against Al Houthi-controlled At Tuhayata and Al Jarrahi districts resumed on Friday.

Abdul Raham Hajari, the commander of Tehami resistance, told Gulf News by telephone that his forces stormed Al Hayma seaport in the district of At Tuhayata on the Red Sea after heavy clashes with Iran-backed Al Houthis who fled to populated areas in the district’s centre.

“We have seized control of the Al Hayma seaport which has long been used for smuggling in arms and drugs,” Hajari said, adding that Al Houthi defences in At Tuhayata were crumbling and he expected the districted to be liberated in the coming days. Hundreds of troops from the Tehami resistance, the Giant Brigades and the National Resistance led-by Tariq Mohammad Abdullah Saleh, mounted a jointed offensive on Friday against Al Houthis in Al Tuhayata and Al Jarrahi in Hodeida province and Kahboub and Al Wazyia west of the city of Taiz. The resumed offensive in Hodeida and Taiz comes as government troops gained control of a large amount of land west of city of Taiz, important supply lines to Al Houthi militants who shell government troops on the Red Sea coastline.

Hajari said that Friday’s offensive was aimed at seizing control of the two districts in Hodeida and setting stage for another larger offensive on the western city of Hodeida, the last major coastal area under Al Houthi occupation.

Government forces also stormed Kahboub mountains on Friday west of Taiz city after cutting off roads to pockets of Al Houthi militants and are now marching towards Al Ameri and Al Wazyia regions.

On Thursday, the Giant Brigades gave Al Houthi militants a three-day deadline to pull out of Kahboub, Al Wazyia and other mountainous areas in the Taiz or face “an aggressive military assault”.

This comes after government forces liberated the Mawza district west of Taiz earlier this week.

Dozens of Al Houthis militants, including senior military commanders, have been killed over the last couple of days in the continuing clashes with government forces or by Saudi-led coalition fighter jets.

Photos posted by local media showed bodies of Al Houthi militants abandoned on roads and mountains as loyalists retrieved arms from the battlefield.

The commander of the Tehami resistance said massive air and logistical support from the UAE Armed forces was the driving force behind current military gains on the Red Sea battlefield.

“We feel thankful to the UAE for their military support,” Hajari said.