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Yemen’s Army Draws up New Plan to Free Hodeidah City | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A boy walks past soldiers from the Saudi-led coalition patrolling a street in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden September 26, 2015. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Aden, Jeddah- A Yemeni official army spokesman revealed on Tuesday that a new plan has been developed to retake the key port city of Hodeidah from insurgency control.

Iran-backed militias will soon be dislodged from their Red Sea coast bastion, the army spokesman said.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Brigadier General Abdo Ali Mojlei said that national army troops are fully prepared and are waiting for instructions from government control.

At least 90 percent of local inhabitants are rushing to back pro-government forces, whether it be national army forces of Popular Resistance troops, Mojlei said.

Army troops have made major advances on Yemen’s western axis, arriving at Hodeidah’s vicinity.

Insurgency militias have offered to hand over both the city and its strategic port to government forces—however conditions were listed.

Hajjah’s provincial representative Nasser Daqin, Hodeidah’s neighboring governorate, said insurgency militias have demanded army operations backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition cease in order to withdraw from Hodeidah.

Despite the offer being a notable progress, unless international guarantees provided by sponsoring states and undertakings are carried out, the bid remains insufficient.

A time period in which insurgency militias would vacate the city should also be declared.

“The Yemeni government will not enter such conflicts that do not serve the best interests of Yemenis, especially Tihamah region residents,” Daqin added.

Tihamah refers to Red Sea coastal plain of Arabia from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Bab el Mandeb Strait, which encompasses Hodeidah city.

In the meantime, Houthi militiamen and armed loyalists backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh continued for the second consecutive day a large-scale kidnapping spree against civilians in the town of Bihan in Shabwa province.

Fierce fighting and mutual artillery shelling coincided with the kidnappings across the province.

Yemen has been reeling from ongoing conflict between Houthis, aligned with Iran, against the constitutionally elected and internationally recognized government headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to help the government retake the capital Sana’a.