AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: The Yemeni Army and allied tribesmen seized a military base in the northern province of Jouf, and a large swathe of land in the central province of Al-Bayda, following intense battles with Iran-backed Houthis, army commanders and government officials said on Wednesday.
Yemeni Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said government troops recaptured Labenat military base in Jouf and surrounding areas from the Houthis.
He added that Arab coalition warplanes and their military experts on the ground have played a key role in helping government troops take the upper hand on the battlefield.
Local military commanders say their next goal is consolidating their positions around the military base before launching another offensive on Jouf’s capital Hazem, which fell to the Houthis last month.
Col. Rabia Al-Qurashi, the army’s spokesman in Jouf, told Arab News on Wednesday that troops were stationed almost 10 km from Hazem as the Arab coalition targeted Houthi gatherings in the city to pave the way for the troops to storm it.
Al-Qurashi thanked the Arab coalition for its continued support, and said the Houthis suffered heavy blows in Jouf after failing to convince army officers and tribal leaders to switch sides.
In Al-Bayda, government forces seized a sprawling chain of mountains in Malajem and Natea after killing dozens of Houthi fighters on Tuesday.
State TV quoted Maj. Gen. Moufreh Al-Bouheh as saying government forces liberated Al-Ghader, Waled and Qaida mountains after a swift assault against the Houthis, at least 40 of whom were killed in the fighting.
The Arab coalition carried at least five air sorties, targeting Houthi military gatherings and reinforcements.
Backed by air support and military logistics from the coalition, Yemeni Army troops and allied tribesmen last week seized most of Helan, a chain of mountains from where the Houthis would shell residential areas in the densely populated city of Marib.