Taiz – Dozens of Yemeni coup militiamen were killed in clashes in the north eastern city of Marib as government forces pushed towards the strategic Marthad hill.
Earlier, pro-government forces had locked control over multiple supply routes that used to provide Houthi insurgents and armed loyalists backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh with arms.
Field sources confirmed that 12 coup militiamen were arrested by government forces amid ongoing defeats striking their ranks. Putschists have been increasingly losing artillery and grounds.
A number of Marib civilians have returned to their homes after having been driven out of them due to fierce battles two years ago. Sources also pointed out that the army seized two military vehicles, weapons and ammunition, left by the militias in the liberated areas.
Marib province is among a very few provinces that fought off Houthi military expansion in late 2014, months before Saudi Arabia and allied Arab countries entered the war to bring back the legitimate president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
For almost two years, government forces and the Saudi-led coalition have been militarily pressuring rebels to turn over their territories in Marib as to put an end to sporadic rocket attacks on the province’s capital Marib.
Fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition launched several air strikes, targeting Houthis’ military reinforcements to besieged fighters on Helan mountain.
Army spokesman in Taiz Colonel Abed Al Basit al Bahr told Asharq Al-Awsat that coupists had launched sporadic projectiles in order to inhibit the advances registered by army forces.
“Army morale is high due to ongoing battleground victories,” said Col. Bahr.
On the other hand, “Houthi ranks have been utterly demoralized,” he added.