AL-MUKALLA: Loyalist fighters from the Giants Brigades drove the Houthis out of swaths of central Yemen on Saturday as the Iran-backed militia suffered more military defeats.
“The national army and the Giants Brigades are inflicting heavy blows on the Houthis,” army spokesman Gen. Abdu Abdullah Majili told Arab News.
Government troops recaptured Najed and Al-Hajela in Juba district and made gains in Abedia district, both south of Marib, Majili said.
The Giants Brigades stormed Houthi locations on the Malla’a mountain range as they sought to join up with army troops outside the Houthi-controlled Um Resh military base in Juba. They also resumed their push inside the Houthi-controlled Al-Bayda province, retaking the Gharaba area in Natea district, east of Al-Bayda.
The Houthis have suffered a string of military defeats since the beginning of this year, when the Giants Brigades began an offensive that led to the recapture of the oil-rich province of Shabwa, and seized control of large amounts of lands from the Houthis in the bat- tleground Marib province.
Their successes have alleviated pressure on government troops who have been defending the central city of Marib since February last year.
Hundreds of Houthis have been killed in Marib, Shabwa and Al-Bayda since earlier this year when the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen intensified airstrikes against the militia’s military targets.
The Giants Brigades have now redeployed some of their fighters, and thanked the coalition for military support to their forces since the first day of their offensive.
“The forces completed their mission in liberating the district of Shabwa and securing it, and pushed the Houthis out of the district of Harib, south of Marib,” a Giants Brigades official said.
“The force that was repositioned did not leave the front lines, but rather began putting up defensive measures to repel any military attacks by the Houthis.
“What is not yet liberated in Marib province is left up to the government, which has hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and it is their turn to kick the Houthis out of Marib.”
Yemen’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that a coalition airstrike had killed nine Houthis and destroyed a cannon after targeting their location in Jabal Habashy district, west of Taiz.
Fighting between government troops and the Houthis has intensified in Jabal Habashy since last week, when government troops mounted a new offensive to liberate the district and break the Houthi siege on Taiz.
Earlier, five Giants Brigades fighters were killed and several more injured when a missile fired by the Houthis hit their location in Al-Safha in Shabwa’s Bayhan district.