Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemen Army Chief of Staff: Hodeida Offensive Discussed with President Hadi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Children search for belongings among the rubble in Hodeida, Yemen [Reuters]

Jeddah- Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi discussed with the national army’s commandership latest military developments and advances across Yemen battlefront.

Launching the second phase of military operations on a number of fronts in addition to offensives to be staged in the upcoming few days were presented before President Hadi.

Military command has provided President Hadi with latest developments and details on future offensives, including the operation to liberate Hodeida, Army Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Mekdashi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Significant advances made by pro-government forces, made up of national army units and local tribesman partaking a popular anti-Houthi resistance, were registered in each of the key coastal region of Mokha and Arhab district near the coup-held Sana’a.

Progress made on behalf of pro-government forces has tipped the table in favor of legitimate authorities, in hopes that field losses suffered by the insurgency would force militias to commit to negotiations.

Rate of arms trafficking, according to Maj.Gen Mekdashi, has considerably decreased since pro-government army forces restored control over a large fraction of Yemen’s western coastline.

Despite freeing key ports in Mokha, arms smuggling to militias will continue at a small scale, Mekdashi said.

All countries are challenged with illegal importing of arms or prohibited products, he further explained.

But with the firm recapture of the strategic seaside region, militias will no longer be able to loosely exploit waterways, Mekdashi added.

“Recently, army forces seized mass quantities of arms sufficient to support the militias, aiding them to prolong combat and operations.”

“Weapons confiscated include thermal and ballistic missiles sent by Iran, the chief supplier for this kind of weapons to the putschists,” said Mekdashi.

It is worth mentioning that Iran has also sent military experts to coup militias. However, reports show that Iranian experts do not engage in direct combat, but they rather lead from behind while maintaining a safe distance from battle.