Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemeni Army Advances on Several Fronts in Taiz, Besieges Saadah | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yemenis accompany their donkeys carrying food parcels as they walk through the mountains along the only path accessible between the southern cities of Aden and Taiz. (AFP)

Jeddah, Taiz – The Yemeni National Army is besieging the Houthi stronghold Sadaah as 12 brigades were preparing to liberate the region, revealed Major General Amin al-Waeli, commander of the 6th Military Brigade of the national army.

Waeli explained to Asharq al-Awsat that the army advanced on the city from the north, east and west, leaving the militias with only an outlet in the south. The army is tackling the situation in the south in order to cut off supply routes to the militants. He stressed that the Ansar Allah group are not welcome in Saadah, which is facilitating the military’s mission of cleansing the city of militias.

He said that preliminary investigations with militants confirmed the participation of experts from Iran, Iraq and Lebanese “Hezbollah” commanders. He added that the experts resided in Sana’a and Saadah, but he did not reveal whether they were currently directing the battle in Saadah.

The military commander pointed out that the Yemeni army advanced on all fronts overlooking the 6th military district. In addition, insurgents received military reinforcements from the republican guard, but the army was able to cut them off, which greatly affected the morale of the militias and forced them to retreat from some areas.

The national army has devised several plans that are being executed. He revealed that these plans can be altered in order to confuse the insurgents and they can also be carried out in various locations and in any direction, explaining that the army is awaiting reinforcements and support from the higher leadership which is gradually arriving to the 6th district.

On the militias’ arms smuggling, Waeli said that the rate of these operations has dropped, but the insurgents still receive military support from Sana’a. The army is dealing with the smuggling in all possible means in order to neutralize the effect of the weapons, he stressed.

Meanwhile, legitimate forces advanced on several fronts on Yemen’s west coast, amid fierce clashes between the national army and the remaining insurgents, said field commander in the popular resistance Ayman Jarmash.

He pointed out that militias planted dozens of landmines prior to fleeing the region, which is hindering the army’s advance on the Khalid bin Walid military camp.

Liberating the camp means that reinforcements will be cut off to militias in Taiz, explained Jarmash, who added that regaining control over military camps will speed up the liberation of the Hodeidah port city.

In addition, national army forces launched a surprise attack against the remaining militia positions on the Kadha front of al-Maafer, west of Taiz. This was met with an insurgent escalation where they heavily bombed its western and eastern neighborhoods, injuring several civilians, including two children.

Military sources on the Taiz front told Asharq Al-Awsat that units of the 35th armored brigade liberated several areas in the region. Sources added that the clashes continued as the army, backed by coalition forces, made further advances.

In Shabwah, clashes renewed on Osailan front after militants tried to infiltrate national army positions, but the legitimate forces repelled them and forced their retreat.

The Baydah district also witnessed several clashes as militias bombed al-Quraysheyyah and Ould al-Rabieh districts, killing and injuring several civilians and displacing dozens.

In related news, Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief Abdul-Raqib Fateh inaugurated a project in Taiz to distribute food aid from the Benevolence Coalition for Humanitarian Relief with the support by King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid.

Fateh said that this is another part of the King Salman Center’s support with the distribution of a total of 12,000 food baskets to people besieged in Taiz. He added that the war waged by Houthi and Saleh militias created a real humanitarian tragedy.

He described the King Salman Center as a relief beacon, aiming to help all Yemenis and alleviate their suffering with over 135 relief aid programs executed throughout the country. He also mentioned that Emirates Red Crescent and Kuwaiti Relief Committee helped Yemen in its difficult times.

Head of office of King Salman Center in Aden Saleh al-Thaybani said that the center is inaugurating the project to distribute 12,000 food baskets in Taiz as part of its relief programs.