Aden- Frequent visits by senior military commanders at the Saudi-led Arab Coalition to warzones and battlefronts in Yemen’s south has been registered by Asharq Al-Awsat correspondents.
Most visits were at the Yemeni eastern cities of Taiz and Lahij.
The Arab coalition is a military alliance by several Gulf countries working to restore power to the constitutionally elected leadership in Yemen, after Iran-aligned Houthi militias and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh loyalists had overrun the country spurring a brutal civil war.
Military commanders visited along with national army leaders visited strategic fronts witnessing fierce clashing—Lahij, for instance, is the chief gateway to Yemen’s makeshift capital base in Aden.
“Morale was increased among pro-legitimacy fighters after high-end military commandership visited battlefronts, it encouraged both resilience and bravery against insurgency militias, pushing pro-legitimacy forces towards more advances in Taiz,” battlefront spokesperson Ahmad Atef Hassan told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
Political and military analysts believe that the visits were a close inspection to the battlefield before launching a military offensive to free Taiz from Houthis militias.
Military activity and logistics indicate that preprations for an upcoming battle are present. Army convoys and tanks have arrived to Bab-el-Mandeb strait, located west of Lahij last week. The location secured is regarded as an international prime naval route.
Clashes in areas between Lahij and Taiz are located 18 kilometers away from Bab-el-Mandab strait.
Iran-backed Houthis and pro-Saleh militias have been relentlessly aiming to secure foothold and advances towards the key strait.
The government now aims to “push back the rebels away from the western coast and Bab-el-Mandab, and to secure maritime navigation in the southern part of the Red Sea,” a military official said.
Pro-government forces have been sent to the area, backed by tanks, other armored vehicles and Katyusha rocket launchers, military officials said.
They said the offensive aimed to gain back control of the coast from Dhubab as far north as al-Khukha 90km farther north.
Troops were also sent by the Saudi-led Arab coalition which intervened in March 2015 to prop up the government of President Abd Rabbuh Hadi.
Pro-government troops seized Dhubab in early October 2015, giving them effective control of Bab-el-Mandab.