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Yemen National Army ‘retakes’ Hays, southern Hudaydah

Yemeni soldiers [Al-Mashareq English/Facebook]

The Yemen National Army (YNA) has retaken the Hays district based in southern Hudaydah governorate, the office of the internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi confirmed yesterday.

Hadi praised the latest development along the West Coast front, following the capture of Khokha in December last year.

“On Monday, the National Army forces stormed the town of Hays, south of the province of Hudaydah, and cleared it of the Houthi coup militias,” Abu Zara’ah Al-Mahrami, military commander of YNA in the West Coast front, said on Telegram.

“The military operations of the National Army continue until the completion of the liberation of the West Coast,” Al-Mahrami continued.

The Saudi-led coalition assisted the military assault by way of air strikes, the Yemen National Army confirmed. The recapture of the Red Sea port of Hudaydah is a strategic objective of the Saudi-led coalition, it has been in the hands of the Houthi group since 2014. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015, upon request by Hadi to neutralise territorial threats posed by the Houthis.

Read: Yemen’s Houthis control 100 miles of Saudi Arabia’s territory

In May last year, UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh warned against attacks on Hudaydah as it is the only lifeline to Yemen for imports.

Forces loyal to the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) participated in the assault on Hays. They joined Hadi’s National Army as part of a new alliance last year in the West Coast front against the Houthis.

Yesterday, General Nasser Al-Dhaybani, a military commander of Yemeni National Army, said his troops are moving closer to the Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a “every day”; suggesting that the Yemen National Army is winning the civil war on the ground.

The Yemen civil war erupted in 2014 when the Houthi armed group took over Sana’a alongside an alliance with late President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party. The Houthis continue to control northern Yemen.

Read: Houthis – 46 Saudi air strikes in 48 hours

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