AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni government troops, backed by air cover from the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, made limited military gains near a strategic military base in the central province of Marib, Yemen’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday.
The army and Giants Brigades troops seized control of several locations on the edges of Um Resh military base in Marib’s Juba district after fierce fighting with the Iran-backed Houthis, which left dozens of rebels dead.
Government troops have made a series of military gains in the area since the start of this year after the coalition redeployed hundreds of troops from the country’s west coast to Shabwa and Marib provinces.
The new troops managed to liberate Shabwa and later pushed into the Houthi-controlled territory in Marib, seizing control of Hareb district, and are now fighting the Houthis in Juba and Abedia districts, south of the city of Marib.
Coalition warplanes also carried out air sorties in support of troops in Marib, striking Houthi military reinforcements.
The coalition on Thursday said its warplanes conducted 14 airstrikes that killed many rebels and destroyed 11 vehicles in Marib and Hajjah during the past 24 hours.
Similar heavy fighting between government troops and the Houthis broke out on the western edges of the southern city of Taiz.
The Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that 15 Houthis were killed in Taiz’s Al-Anen after they mounted a counteroffensive to seize back locations held by government troops.
Last week, soldiers mounted an offensive on the western outskirts of Taiz to control a strategic road that links the city with Hodeidah.
The heavy fighting on the ground comes as the government condemned the latest Houthi drone attacks on the UAE, and renewed calls for naming the group a terrorist organization.
Yemen’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday expressed “firm” support for the UAE and its efforts to confront the Houthi threats and protect its people.
“The ministry reiterated the firm position of Yemen in support of the UAE and stands by all measures it takes to confront these cowardly terrorist acts,” it said in a statement carried by the official news agency SABA.
Yemen’s Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmer said the designation of the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization would lead to curbing their devastating behavior.
On Wednesday, during a meeting in Riyadh with Marion Laliss, deputy head of mission of the EU delegation to Yemen, Al-Ahmer said the Houthis rejected peace initiatives to end the war and intensified deadly attacks on civilian targets in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The classification of Houthis as a terrorist organization would “have a positive impact as it would deter the Houthis’ barbaric and subversive practices, and would force them to comply with the peace process,” the vice president was quoted as saying during the meeting, according to SABA.