The Yemeni army announced yesterday that its forces have taken control of villages and areas in the Houthi stronghold of Saada.
The Yemeni army site reported the forces have taken control of the villages of Jalah, Al-Dahl, Al-Sulfa, Wadi Al-Aslan Jahla and Wadi Al-Mabtah, the Houthis’ last strongholds in the Directorate of Baqem near Saada province.
The site added that this progress came after a large-scale military operation carried out this morning, with support from the Saudi-led Arab coalition.
In parallel with the ground attack, the Saudi-led coalition used Apache helicopters to launch raids on Houthi strongholds and reinforcements on the same front, the site added.
It pointed out that the Arab coalition’s raids killed more than 20 Houthi gunmen including two leaders, Asil Al-Khulani and Abu Radwan Al-Moayyad, and wounding dozens more.
There was no comment from the Houthis on the announcement.
Saada province, adjacent to Saudi’s southern border, has been the main Houthi stronghold and the presumed residence of the group’s leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi.
Yemen has been in a state of war since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sana’a.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies – who accuse the Houthis of serving as Iran’s proxies – launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.
The following year, UN-sponsored peace talks held in Kuwait failed to produce any tangible breakthroughs.
The violence has devastated the country’s basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.