Yemen army makes more gains in Marib

Yemen army makes more gains in Marib

Al Mukalla: Yemeni government forces and allied tribesmen on Saturday pushed deeper into Al Houthi-controlled areas in Marib’s Serwah district after taking control of Al Makhdara region, local government officials and military sources said.

An aide to the governor of Marib who was briefed about the gains in the province told Gulf News that government forces have thrust deeper into Serwah, Al Houthis last bastion in the central province, and liberated several mountains in Al Makhdara, a strategic region located between Sana’a and Al Houthis’ remaining territories in Serwah.

“Al Makhdara is a lifeline supply route where Al Houthis use its main road to get aid and reinforcements from Sana’a to Helan mountain and other locations in Serwah,” the aide said, adding that residents of some recently liberated villages in Marib have begun returning to their homes.

Officials say that dozens of Al Houthis were killed and 12 other captured after the fierce battles in Al Makhdara. Two loyalists were also killed and three injured.

“Bodies of Al Houthi fighters are still scattered in the battlefield. The national army has seized military equipment, two pickups and ammunition.” the official said.

Fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition launched several air strikes, targeting Al Houthis’ military reinforcements to besieged fighters on Helan mountain.

Marib province is among a very few provinces that fought off Al 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.

Meanwhile, in Riyadh, Yemeni President Hadi ordered members of Yemen’s parliament to convene in the port city of Aden, the base of the internationally-recognised government. Boosted by improving security in the strategic city, Hadi instructed a group of legislators in Riyadh to return to Aden to resume parliament sessions.

The country’s parliament was suspended when Al Houthi rebels officially overthrew Hadi and placed him under house arrest early 2015.

Many lawmakers fled the country for fear of being forced by Al Houthis to attend parliament session in Sana’a. Hadi also said that his government is determined to oust the Al Houthi militia from the capital and other provinces under their control.

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