Yemen

Houthis retake strategic positions from pro-Hadi militiamen

Yemeni forces, backed by Houthis fighters from the Popular Committees, have wrested control over a number of strategic areas in central province of al-Bayda from Saudi-backed mercenaries fighting to reinstate exiled former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center, in a series of posts published on its official Twitter page, announced that the Yemeni troops and fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement launched their attack in Souq al-Qaniyeh area, which lies in the eastern countryside of the province, and succeeded after several hours of heavy combat.

The Yemeni army troopers and Popular Committees fighters also recovered assault rifles as well as munitions from the pro-Hadi militiamen, destroyed a number of their vehicles and set fire to several military fortifications.

Moreover, Saudi-led military aircraft carried out three airstrikes against a customs office in the Harad district, and another two on an area in the Midi district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah early on Friday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and the extent of damage caused.

Saudi artillery units also shelled residential neighborhoods in the border Razih district of the Yemen’s Sa’ada province, with no reports of casualties quickly available.

Elsewhere in the al-Hazm district of the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf, Saudi warplanes launched four air raids against al-Khasaf region.

Separately, Saudi fighter jets pounded areas in the Majzar and Medghal districts of Yemen’s central province of Ma’rib. No words about the extent of damage and possible casualties were immediately reported.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring Hadi back to power and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.

More than half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinics have been destroyed or closed during the war by the Saudi-led coalition, which is supported militarily by the UK, US and other Western nations.

At least 80 percent of the 28 million-strong population is also reliant on aid to survive in what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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