SANAA (AFP) – The Yemeni army is coming close to ending the Zaidi Shiite rebellion in the rugged mountains of the north, the government spokesman said on Tuesday, 10 weeks into its campaign.
“The armed forces are taking calculated moves, and a final end to these confrontations will come soon,” said Information Minister Hassan al-Lawzi, according to Saba state news agency.
Signs that the war is near its end can be seen by the “armed forces’ tight siege of these groups and cutting their lines of supply,” Saba reported.
The government launched Operation Scorched Earth on August 11 with the aim of crushing the Zaidi rebels, known also as Huthis, in their stronghold Saada region and its surroundings.
Hundreds of people have been killed or wounded in the clashes, and tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes, resulting in a humanitarian crisis complicated by a dire shortage of food and other basic necessities.
Fighting between government forces and the Huthis, named after their late commander, Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi, has killed thousands since it erupted in 2004.
The authorities accuse the rebels of being supported by groups in Iran and of seeking to reinstate a form of clerical rule that ended in republican coup in 1962. The rebels deny both claims.