SANAA (Dispatches) – Yemen’s army aided by popular movement forces on Saturday captured new areas in southern Ma’rib province in central Yemen after fierce fighting with Saudi-backed militants and mercenaries, a military source said.
Yemen’s army forces advanced from Harib district and captured this morning the Mal’aa hilltops, the adjacent valley of Om Reash and part of the main highway in the area, which leads to Al-Jubah district and the province’s capital, Ma’rib city, the military source in the city told Xinhua.
Dozens of militants and former regime forces were killed and wounded when trying to repel the army attack, he said on condition of anonymity, without providing information on casualties.
With the control of Harib district earlier this week, the Sana’a-based government now controls ten districts out of 14 in the province.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the U.S. and regional allies, launched a war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.
Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees, however, have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.
In the latest development, Yemeni forces fully liberated the strategic central province of al-Bayda, inflicting heavy blows to the Saudi-led military coalition and its Daesh and Al-Qaeda allies.
Military spokesman General Yahya Saree said on Thursday, army soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees liberated Sawma’ah and Maswarah district as well as large parts of Mukayras district during Operation Dawn of Freedom.
The operation primarily targeted the remnants of Al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups which are cooperating with the Saudi-led forces.
“During military advances of our forces to eliminate Takfiri elements, Saudi-led warplanes conducted more than 30 air raids to support the extremists and to prevent the advance of our troops. Our missile and drone units launched 10 operations against enemy positions. Al-Bayda province was completely liberated as a result of the operation,” Saree said.