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Yemen army chief: Houthi rebels ‘living their last days’

Yemeni Army Chief of Staff Major General Mohammed Ali Almekdha

The Yemeni Chief of Staff General Mohammed Ali Al-Maqdeshi said on Thursday that the forces of the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi were very close to the capital Sana’a, and that the Houthi rebels and their backers were “living their last days”.

Yemeni news agency Saba reported Al-Maqdeshi as saying that “the army achieves daily victories along its way towards the capital,” which has been controlled by the Iran-backed Shia Houthis and allied militias controlled by ousted Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2014.

The senior military official said that the “putchist” Houthis and Saleh forces were “living their last days,” noting that fighting them needs “joint” and “loyal” efforts to liberate all the institutions of the state.

Read: Saudi soldier killed in Houthi landmine attack

Saba reported that Al-Maqdeshi was briefed about the arrangement and the readiness of the military brigades which are currently awaiting orders to advance closer on Sana’a.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said that Yemeni forces loyal to Hadi have been fighting Houthi forces in Nahm province, which is about 50 kilometres away from the capital, for months.

Other media sources reported that a special forces brigade arrived in Nahm on Thursday and will be taking part in the ongoing military operations against the Houthis and their allies.

Also read: Houthis bomb UN building in Saudi Arabia’s Dhahran Al-Janoub

The Yemeni forces carried out several attacks on the Houthis in the mountain series of Al-Qatab and Al-Madfoun, local sources reported.

Al-Maqdeshi was confident that the Yemeni capital would soon be back under government control: “There is nothing that separates [the army] from Sana’a apart from a few mountains that are currently being liberated.”

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