World, Middle East

Pro-govt forces make gains against Houthis in S. Yemen

Army launched wide-ranging campaign last week aimed at recapturing parts of Yemen’s southern Shabwah province

03.01.2017
Pro-govt forces make gains against Houthis in S. Yemen File photo

SANAA

Pro-government forces on Tuesday registered gains against the Shia Houthi militia and its allies in Yemen’s southern Shabwah province, according to a pro-government source.

Aayid al-Jalali, a pro-government spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that the Yemeni army’s 26th Division had recaptured large swathes of territory in the province’s Al-Saq region.

"Our forces are now poised to take the Al-Safha area in the Harib governorate of neighboring Maarib province," he added.

Last week, pro-government forces launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at recapturing parts of Shabwah’s Oseilan and Bihan governorates.

In a related development the same day, a local official told Anadolu Agency that pro-government forces had captured several strategic plateaus in Yemen's northern Saada province, a traditional Houthi stronghold.

Saada Governor Hadi al-Waili went on to assert that the Yemeni army and other pro-government forces had registered significant gains in the province.

The Houthis and their allies, for their part, have yet to comment on the reported developments.

Yemen has been wracked by chaos since 2014, when the Houthis and allied forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.

The conflict escalated in mid-2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a major air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled Saudi-backed government.

Two rounds of subsequent UN-backed peace talks failed to resolve the conflict, in which thousands of Yemenis are believed to have been killed to date and an estimated 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.

Reporting by Tawfiq Ali; Writing by Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg

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