SANAA (Dispatches) -- Yemeni forces have made new advances against Saudi-backed militants in Yemen’s central province of Ma’rib, flushing them out of several districts and edging closer to the final victory.
Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television said Yemeni soldiers and their allies had wrested control over Raqwan district, and were pushing to take over Al-Alam al-Abyad and Al-Nadhoud districts which lie to the northeast of Ma’rib city.
Local sources said Yemeni forces are now advancing on al-Wadiyah border crossing with Saudi Arabia.
Dozens of Saudi mercenaries were killed and wounded in the process. Among the dead were Brigadier Ahmed Qaid al-Sha’rabi, commander of Kasara Front and the 117th Brigade of former president Mansour Hadi loyalists, and a number of his close aides. They were killed during confrontations in Malbouda area.
Some local sources said the 117th Brigade had turned themselves over to the Yemeni forces with their weapons Friday night.
Serious clashes were going on between the Yemeni soldiers and pro-Hadi forces in the southern flanks of Al-Tala’a al-Hamra area.
Saudi warplanes launched a series of airstrikes against Al-Zour area recently taken over by the Yemeni army forces in the Sirwah district of Ma’rib province. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties or the extent of damage.
Over the past few weeks, Ma’rib has been the scene of massive operations by the Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters, who are pushing against Saudi-backed Hadi supporters.
The Daesh terrorist group issued a short statement on Wednesday, saying it has carried out operations against the Yemeni armed forces in the province, killing and wounding a number of them in the process.
The Yemeni forces’ advances have raised concerns in the Saudi-led coalition and their allies, including the United States.
Muhammed al-Bukhaiti, a senior member of Ansarullah political bureau, said Friday the Saudi-led coalition is opposed to cessation of hostilities and establishment of lasting peace.
He said Yemeni forces are ready to stop the battle in Ma’rib once Saudi Arabia ends its war on Yemen.