Loyalists reach centre of key Hodeida district

Yemeni commander says Al Houthis have lost the initiative and are fleeing battlefield

Al Mukalla: Yemeni forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition have seized control of a new coastal area in the Red Sea district of Al Tuhayata, forcing the Iran-backed Al Houthis to scatter into more populated areas in the district.

Abdul Rahman Hajar, commander of the Tehami Resistance, told Gulf News on Sunday afternoon that his men stormed Al Matena region in Hodeida’s Al Tuhayata, and are now pushing their way into the district’s centre.

“We have killed a large number of Al Houthi militiamen. Their bodies are still scattered everywhere on the battlefield,” Hajar said by telephone, adding that Al Houthis have lost the initiative and are fleeing the battlefield, leaving behind arms and bodies of their fighters.

Areas liberated

Last week, a combined assault by Temani Resistance, the Giant Brigades, and the National Resistance led by Gen. Tariq Mohammad Abdullah Saleh led to the liberation of large swathes of land west of Taiz city and east and north of Mokha town on the Red Sea coast.

Over the weekend, government troops announced liberation of Al Waziyah and Mawza districts in Taiz province, confining Al Houthis to a few mountainous areas west of Taiz.

Local commanders said fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition launched dozens of attacks in the western province of Hodeida, hitting pockets of Al Houthi fighters, checkpoints, equipment and reinforcements heading to the battlefield.

The coalition also hit Al Houthi-controlled areas in Saada, Baydha, Hajja and Sana’a’s Nehim district.

In the central district of Baydha, Yemen’s defence ministry said government troops are battling Al Houthis in new areas in Al Malajem district, expanding their gains to the third district in the province after Natea and Al Nouman districts. An Al Houthi leader called Nasser Al Juneidi and a number of his associates were killed in clashes with government troops in Al Malajem.

Meanwhile, in Sana’a, Al Houthis, facing heavy setbacks on the battlefields, sentenced three people to death on Saturday — two on charges of spying, and one for owing allegiance to Al Qaida. The duo were accused of transferring important military information to the Saudi-led coalition.

The Al Houthi-operated Specialised Criminal Court has previously sentenced 12 individuals to death on similar charges in verdicts aimed at intimidating people from providing leads to Saudi-led coalition fighter jets on locations of Al Houthi leaders.

In a bid to stop Al Houthis from using the judicial system to prosecute their opponents, Yemen’s Supreme Judicial Council recently moved the country’s Specialised Criminal Court from Al Houthi-held Sana’a to the province of Marib.


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