DUBAI: Yemen forces backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition made major advances into Houthi-held areas in Hodeidah over the last week the national army reported.
Backed by resistance forces, the army liberated al-Zaraniq Camp and the surrounding areas in the district of Durayhi in Houdeidah from Houthi militia.
There were a number of children captured, who were fighting for the Houthi militia suffering from starvation and thirst.
Local reports suggested that the army was less than 20km away from the densely populated city of Hodeidah, however Arab News cannot independently confirm this.
Abdulmalek al-Houthi, leader of the Iran-backed militia, reportedly tried to assure his followers that the losses in Hodeidah around the west coast are small.
The spokesperson for Yemen’s army, Sadeq Dawaid, told Sky News Arabia that after liberating Houthi areas, the army was then faced with heavily mined land which it had to clear.
“Houthis have an obsession with planting landmines, they do it randomly often injuring and killing their own forces in the process,” Dawaid said.
“The landmines they plant also injure local residents,” he added.
Teams were formed to de-activate the thousands of landmines around Hodeidah.
According to army officials in Yemen, the country has been subjected to the “largest mine-laying operation since the end of the Second World War.”
The total number of mines laid by the militia exceeds half a million mines, and that this “huge amount continues to pose a sustainable threat to the lives of civilians.”
International human rights groups have previously condemned Iran-backed Houthi militias for their use of the banned antipersonnel landmines in Yemen that have caused numerous civilian casualties and hindered the safe return of people to displaced by fighting.