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Dozens of Al Houthis arrested in Hodeida

Government forces compose of South Yemen resistance fighters were trained by the UAE military

Al Mukalla: Hundreds of Yemeni forces, trained and armed by the UAE, have arrested dozens of Al Houthis militants on the Red Sea battlefield and have reached the outskirts of Hays town in the province of Hodeida, a field commander told Gulf News on Sunday.

Abu Zara’a Al Mouhrrami said that his forces have stormed Hayma, a small region on the outskirts of Hays town, are battling rebels almost 90 kilometres south of the western port city of Hodeida.“ Al Houthis were taken apart by our recent offensive. They fled the battlefield leaving behind arms and military vehicles. We have arrested dozens of militants.”

Al Mouhrrami said by telephone from the newly liberated areas on the Red Sea.

Government forces, composed of South Yemen resistance fighters and other men from Hodeida who were trained by the UAE military, stepped up attacks against Al Houthis militia on country’s Red Sea coast last week. Within days, government forces took control of Khokha region, a military camp and a number of small villages in the province of Hodeida.

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Al Mouhrrami said that his forces captured anti-tanks missiles that were manufactured last in 2016 and the arrested militants are mainly teenagers from Saada and Amran provinces. Military commanders say that military advisers from the UAE are helping government forces on the ground as fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition heavily strike Al Houthi military supplies to the battlefield. If government forces seized control of Hodeida city, it would be another turning point of the war similar to the liberation of Aden as rebels would lose a vital source of finance and a key smuggling route for Iranian arms. The internationally-recognised government have repeatedly accused Al Houthis of spending millions of dollars that come from Hodeida seaport on their military efforts.

Meanwhile, in another major development in the war, government forces in the province of Jawf has managed to dispatch troops and military equipment to the battlefield in Saada, the bastion of Al Houthis, for the first time since the beginning of the war in early 2015. After taking control of a strategic road that links Saada with Jawf, army troops were seen crossing into Saada’s Bouq to reinforce loyalists there. In the past, Yemen military used to send arms and troops to Bouqa battlefield through the Saudi side of the border.

Fierce clashes were also reported on Sunday in Marib’s Serwah, Shabwa and in the northern province of Hajja.