Yemen army hits Al Houthi leader’s stronghold

Aden: Yemeni forces, aided by the Arab coalition battling to uphold the legitimacy of Yemen’s internationally-recognised government, launched a full-blown assault on Al Houthis’ fortifications in Marran in Sa’ada. The region is militia leader Abdul Malek Al Houthi’s stronghold.

Quoting military sources, Al Arabiya reported that a large number of troops are fighting in Marran, attacking from four sides, and managing to take control of many strategic posts while liberating several valleys and mountains at the bottom of the area. The Al Houthis have suffered major human and material losses as a result.

Earlier this week, Yemeni government forces retook control of most parts of a western area, regarded as the gateway to the Red Sea city of Hodeida. The breakthrough has come after dozens of Iran-allied Al Houthi militants surrendered and others fled from the district of Al Duraihmi, south of Hodeida.

Days after the army troops tightened their siege of the district, Al Duraihmi institutions, including the local council, the health care centre and police station have been purged of Al Houthis, the report said.

In June, the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, unleashed an onslaught to liberate Hodeida, which has been under Al Houthis’ control since October 2014.

Government loyalists, supported by a coalition air cover, have since made territorial gains in the region, including recapture of the international Hodeida airport. Al Duraihmi is located about 20km south of the airport.

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