Yemen forces recapture key military base in Taiz

Force aligned with Yemen’s internationally-recognised president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, took control of a large military base west of the southern city of Taiz after fierce clashes with Iran-backed Al Houthi fighters, top army commander told Gulf News on Friday.Major General Fadhel Hassan, the commander of Aden-based 4th Military Region, who visited the liberated camp, said that his forces dislodged Al Houthi fighters from Khalid Bin Waleed military camp and advanced quickly towards the rugged mountains to chase pockets of fleeing rebel fighters.

Government forces, backed by massive air support from the Saudi-led Arab coalition who are helping Yemenis restore their legitimate government, launched Operation Golden Arrow earlier this year along the western coast of the country.

The aim was to prevent rebels from smuggling in arms supplies from Iran.

Liberated

Since then, Yemeni forces liberated most major Red Sea ports in the Taiz province, including Mokha, and slowed Al Houthi advances.

Al Houthis rigged Khalid Bin Waleed military camp with thousands of landmines and deployed snipers on nearby hilltops before fleeing.

Hassan said the seizure of the military base in Taiz could herald the crumbling of Al Houthi pockets of resistance in Taiz and other locations as the camp is located in the middle of a road that links Taiz and the port city of Hodeidah and it supplies fighters with arms and ammunition.

“The camp is one of the biggest military camps in Yemen and is historically symbolic to the ousted president as he served there before taking office [in 1978].”

Critical role

The military commander said the capture of the base will help ease pressure on government forces in the besieged city of Taiz and other areas and military reinforcements will be able to be easily deployed to help forces in other areas west of the city.

The general stressed the critical role the UAE has played in helping forces on the ground, as fighter jets from the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, which the UAE is part of helped pave the way for major ground offensives.

The troops will now temporarily pause their advances in order to secure gains, defuse landmines and clear surrounding mountains from pockets of Al Houthi snipers.

Brigadier General Abdullah Majili, a Yemeni army spokesperson, said that government forces have inflicted a major blow to Al Houthis.

“This is a fatal blow to Al Houthi-Saleh militias. Seizing Khalid Bin Al Waleed military camp would mean securing the strategic Bab Al Mandab and Mokha town and cutting military lines from Al Hodeidah, ”he said.

The state-run Saba news agency reported than Hadi, his deputy and the prime minister called military commanders on the ground to congratulate them on their critical victory. Gulf News

 

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