The forces of the National Salvation Government, which consists of the majority of Yemen’s armed forces allied with the Houthi movement, have made significant gains against loyalist forces of Saudi-backed, exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Progress has been made within the triangle consisting of the Sanaa, Marib and Jawf governorates.
Following heavy fighting on Friday, Houthi forces seized the Nehm district, which lies east of the capital Sanaa after fighters supported by the Saudi coalition made a “tactical withdrawal” according to Hadi’s Defence Minister General Mohammed Ali Al-Maqdishi. International Crisis Group described the developments as the Houthis “making the biggest gains on the battlefield”. Footage online purports to show abandoned and damaged vehicles belonging to the retreating forces.
Yesterday, Houthi forces announced the capture of the strategic road linking Marib with the border province of Al-Jawf, which according to Al-Masdar had previously been under the control of the Hadi loyalists for the entire duration of the war. In doing so, it has interrupted supply lines of Hadi’s forces with those of the Islah Party stronghold of Marib, whose mercenary fighters form a bulk of Hadi’s fighters.
According to the report of both sides, Houthi-led forces have captured Barash town, al-Safara town, Jawf crossroad, the camp of the 312nd Brigade, mount Yam and most of Nehm area from #Saudi-backed forces in the triangle area between Nehm, Marib and Jawf. pic.twitter.com/5yQ3Per7mf
— Eastern Lion东方雄狮 (@Sunkway_China) January 26, 2020
Sana'a contact says it has been 'unprecedented collapse' of proGov of #Yemen forces in Nehim front, conflicts btween politicians/commanders like Sagheer Aziz..pic1- Houthis now present in areas west of green line pic2- contact says red s Houthi area closing on near al-Hazam, Jawf pic.twitter.com/PMyYslKxKr
— Fernando Carvajal (@CarvajalF) January 27, 2020
Houthi-aligned Uprising Today reported that Hadi’s so-called Sixth Military Region in Jawf had collapsed under the joint Yemeni army and Houthi offensive. A video has been released showing Major General Abu Ali Al-Hakim touring military sites in the Majzar district in Jawf which were abandoned by the Saudi-supported fighters. The ancient city of Baraqish in the same province is also now under Houthi control.
However, Hadi’s forces are reliant on Saud air support and yesterday its warplanes launched at least 26 air strikes targeting Sanaa and Jawf provinces.