Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Coup Militias Suffer Blow as Yemeni Govt. Forces Advance, Solidify Positions in Taiz | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Fighters of the Popular Resistance Committees examine damage at the National Museum in Yemen’s southwestern city of Taiz. (Reuters)

Taiz – The military command tasked with restoring Taiz into full government control in Yemen launched a large-scale operation west of the city on Monday morning, aiming to complete the liberation of its western areas.

Several pro-government brigades and military police joined the Taiz operation, which is receiving aerial coverage by the Arab coalition. Most of these forces aided in targeting remaining militia positions.

A local military source, who spoke under anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the operation made great progress.

The army has managed to liberate a number of positions that were under putschist control. Clashes left dozens dead and wounded among militia ranks, in addition to significant material losses.

“The army completed the security clearance of al-Qadra, Hamli and Madarat areas, and west of Taiz— freeing them from militias hold,” the military source added.

“Ultimately, the goal is to control vital sites, securing the strategic ‘60’s’ route, which links Taiz to Ibb province, Sana’a and the northern provinces,” the source said.

Further explaining the importance of the land passage, the source stated that it is a key supply route for armed coupists and plays a role in aiding advances from the west coast.

As fighting intensified, locals reported that Taiz’s factory had been evacuated from its workers and guards.

Responding to the advance of the national army on the western front, Iran-aligned militias amped violent artillery bombardment of eastern and southern countryside neighborhoods.

In Taiz’s western region, government forces, backed by Arab Coalition air fighters, continued their push to control Mokha.

In this context, the military source pointed out that “militiamen shelled the area of Madarat in a failed attempt to impede the progress of the national army.”

The army troops bypassed coup barracks and strongholds, despite the fire exchange.

Houthi leader Hussain Rajih and a number of his companions were killed just off Najran, in the Sa’ada governorate, by coalition air strikes that coincided with an ambush. Government forces successfully destroyed an insurgency arms depot, southwest of the capital Sana’a.