Houthis suffer heavy casualties in Yemen’s Al-Bayda as coalition forces seize key supply routes

The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018

Houthis suffer heavy casualties in Yemen’s Al-Bayda as coalition forces seize key supply routes

  • A field sourced confirmed clashes with the militia broke out as the army entered the land mine-filled province
  • The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward

DUBAI: Yemeni forces, backed by the Arab coalition, seized a key road used by the Houthi militia as a supply route into Hodeidah on Wednesday.

Abdulrahman Saleh Abou Zarah, head of the brigade fighting in the region, told AFP reporters that his forces had taken the main supply route, known as Kilo 16, which links the port city with Sanaa.

Saudi-backed forces also re-took another supply route known as Kilo 10.

The roads are vital for the transport of aid between the port in Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa. But the Arab coalition has accused the Houthi rebels of smuggling arms from Iran through the port and has imposed a partial blockade on the port, which the Houthis seized in 2014.

The news came as it was revealed that Houthi militants suffered heavy casualties in ongoing battles against the Yemeni army on Wednesday after clashes in the central province of Al-Bayda.

In a statement issued to the Yemeni Ministry of Defense’s official website, September Net, a field sourced confirmed clashes with the militia broke out as the army entered the land mine-filled province.

The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward.


Libya airport hit by drone and rocket fire; 2 Haftar troops killed

Updated 15 September 2019

Libya airport hit by drone and rocket fire; 2 Haftar troops killed

  • LNA has been battling since early April to seize Tripoli from GNA forces

TRIPOLI: An airport near the Libyan capital was hit by a new round of rocket fire and airstrikes, the Tripoli-based government said on Saturday, two weeks after it was closed due to repeated attacks.

Separately, two commanders of the Libya National Army (LNA) were killed in a drone strike while trying to capture the capital Tripoli.

The drone strike took place in the town of Tarhouna, southeast of Tripoli. The town has been the main base of the LNA since it lost Gharyan town south of Tripoli.

The Tripoli government and LNA both confirmed that two Tarhouna-based commanders — Mohsen Al-Kani, head of the Kaniyat armed group, and Abdelwahab Al-Magri, head of the 9th brigade — died in the strike. A brother of Kani was also killed.

Both armed groups had teamed up with the LNA whose forces control the east with the help of a parallel government and were key to the Tripoli campaign, analysts said.

The Government of National Accord (GNA) accused forces loyal to eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar of being behind Saturday’s attacks on Mitiga airport, but did not report any casualties.

BACKGROUND

The Tripoli government and LNA both confirmed that two Tarhouna-based commanders — Mohsen Al-Kani, head of the Kaniyat armed group, and Abdelwahab Al-Magri, head of the 9th brigade — died in the strike.

A drone airstrike hit the airport early on Saturday morning, followed by “Grad rockets launched by (pro-Haftar) militia,” the GNA said on Facebook.

The former military air base had been Tripoli’s sole functioning airport until a rocket attack on Sept. 1 wounded four civilians including three pilgrims returning from Makkah in Saudi Arabia, the latest in a string of similar incidents.

Authorities responded by diverting flights to Misrata, 200 km to the east, until further notice.

The LNA has been battling since early April to seize the capital from pro-GNA forces.

The two sides have since become embroiled in a stalemate in the capital’s southern outskirts.

Haftar’s forces, which accuse the GNA of using Mitiga for military purposes, say they are targeting “Turkish drones” being launched from the airport to attack their troops in southern Tripoli.

The GNA’s Interior Ministry has identified at least 11 attacks on Mitiga since June 21, not including Saturday’s incident.

The Tripoli-based GNA called Saturday’s attack a “desperate attempt” at revenge for losses sustained the previous day.

Since April, the fighting around Tripoli has killed at least 1,093 people and wounded 5,752, while some 120,000 others have been displaced, according to the World Health Organization.