Yemen army, allied fighters deal major blow to al-Qaeda, pro-Hadi militants
Yemeni army troopers backed by fighters from the allied Popular Committees have killed dozens of al-Qaeda-linked militants and militiamen loyal to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi in the country’s strategic southern port city of Aden.
Fierce exchanges of fire broke out between the two sides as al-Qaeda-affiliated militants coupled with pro-Hadi militiamen attempted to overrun the city, situated 346 kilometers(214 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a, late on Wednesday, media reports said.
The fierce clashes left at least 180 al-Qaeda affiliates and pro-Hadi militiamen dead. A large number of vehicles belonging to the militants were also destroyed during the heavy fighting.
Reports said militants of different Arab nationalities were among the slain terrorists. There were no immediate reports of casualties among Yemeni soldiers and their allies.
Moreover, Yemeni forces launched six Grad missiles against a communications center in the southwestern Saudi province of Dhahran al-Janub in the region of Asir. No reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage inflicted were immediately available.
Yemeni troops also pounded the Malhamah military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern province of Jizan with five Grad rockets late on Wednesday, though no casualties were reported.
A Saudi police station in the kingdom’s border city of Najran, located 844 kilometers (524 miles) south of the capital, Riyadh, also came under retaliatory fire as rockets launched by Yemeni forces struck the area.
Additionally, Saudi Apache combat helicopters fired 14 missiles into the Shada and al-Manzala districts of the northwestern Yemeni province of Sa’ada. Saudi forces also launched several artillery rounds at various areas across the Yemeni province.
Saudi military aircraft also launched an aerial assault against the Monabbih district in the same Yemeni province. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties there.
Meanwhile, a woman lost her life as Saudi warplanes bombarded a residential neighborhood in the provincial capital city of Sa’ada, located 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Sana’a.
On Thursday morning, Saudi warplanes conducted three airstrikes against the al-Dulaimi military airbase in the capital. No reports on casualties and the extent of damage were available.
Saudi jets also hit a government building in the Khamis Mastaba district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah.
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
More than 3,000 people, including 1,500 civilians, have been killed over the past three months in Yemen, according to the United Nations. Some local sources though put the number of the dead at 4,500.