Yemeni troops aided by Arab coalition seize control of Al-Bayda

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The key central province region of Al-Bayda has been seized by Yemeni troops with backing from air support of Arab coalition and further advanced as Houthi fighters fled the battleground.

While addressing media from central city Marib, Maj. Gen. Abdul Abdullah Majili said that in the battlefield Houthis suffered majorly with the rebel fighters abandoning and fleeing to nearby Sanaa and Dhamar. Majili added that before battling Houthi militia in the Al-Bayda region the federal troops had seized Al-Zaher district and its surrounding areas. He added that troops were successful in killing dozens of rebels and then retrieved tanks and military vehicles.

“The army and resistance forces managed to liberate, take control and secure the center of the district of Al-Zaher, as well as the areas of Al-Khulwa and Al-Rawda, and advance toward the city of Al-Bayda,” Majili said.

On Saturday, the Yemen troops had launched an offensive to take control of Al-Bayda. This was followed after mediators failed to convince Houthis to come to table and accept United Nations brokered peace initiative. In the past three days troops and tribesmen have successfully liberated several locations and villages from Houthis. This has been the first time in years that different military units, including southern Yemen separatists, participated in a military operation together in Al-Bayda.

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The Giant Brigade, the military unit that is fighting Houthis on the western coast of Yemen said they had supplied the operation in Al-Bayda with military equipment and fighters,

Al-Bayda holds a strategic location being close to Sanaa, Thamar and Ibb, and thereby can open avenues for government to open a new front in province of Sanaa. “Al-Bayda is southeast of the capital Sanaa, and is the shortest and easiest way to reach the city,” said Col. Abdul Basit Al-Baher, a Yemeni military official.

Nadwa Al-Dawsari, a Yemeni conflict analyst and non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute said, “This offensive will force the Houthis to redeploy some of their forces to defend Al-Bayda. Retaking Al-Bayda will weaken them militarily, which might force them to rethink their maximalist position in the negotiations.”

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