The Yemeni Defense Minister says the country’s armed forces have managed to advance near Saudi Arabia’s southern city of Najran, calling the battlefield gains a major victory over the aggressors.
Speaking during a visit to Yemen’s border regions with Saudi Arabia on Friday, Mohammed Nasser al-Atifi said that the Yemeni Army and allied Popular Committees were “a few kilometers away” from Najran city and its airport.
He stressed that Yemeni fighters would never abandon defending their homeland as they were very close to victory over the Saudi aggressors.
Speaking to Yemen’s SABA news agency on Wednesday, Yemeni Army spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e said that the armed forces had captured 20 military positions belonging to Riyadh and its mercenaries in Najran since the weekend.
“The forces overwhelmed the positions in an attack carried out along three separate military axes,” he said.
More than 200 Saudi mercenaries were killed or wounded during the retaliatory operation, and many others captured along with large quantities of military equipment, he added.
A new footage released on Friday showed Yemeni forces using Kornet man-portable anti-tank missiles to target Saudi armored vehicles across the Najran region. Houthi fighter Abu Hashem told the Middle East Eye news portal that the Yemeni force have recently stepped up their retaliatory attacks against the Saudis.
“Ansarallah spent the whole year fighting the mercenaries at several fronts, including fronts inside Saudi Arabia, and for Eid [al-Fitr] they doubled their efforts to achieve new advances,” he said.
Yemeni fighters regularly target positions inside Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the Saudi war, which began in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the country’s Riyadh-allied former regime and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
On May 14, a Yemeni drone targeted a major oil pumping station deep inside Saudi Arabia, forcing state crude giant Aramco to temporarily shut down the pipeline.
Ansarullah warned that the attack ushered in a new phase of large-scale retaliatory attacks against vital targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Since the Saudi war began, there have been tens of thousands of civilian casualties. Millions of Yemenis now subsist beneath the poverty line and hundreds of thousands of children are suffering and dying from malnutrition.
The Western-backed military aggression, coupled with a naval blockade, has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a massive humanitarian crisis.