A high-ranking member of the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen has dismissed some media reports that Aden has slipped into the hands of forces loyal to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of Ansarullah’s political bureau, said that pro-Hadi militants have not been able to take complete control of the strategic southern Yemeni port city, which is situated 346 kilometers (214 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a, despite Saudi Arabia’s incessant airstrikes to help them gain the upper hand over Houthi fighters.
Bukhaiti further said that heavy clashes between fighters from his group and militants over the control of Aden are in full swing.
The senior Ansarullah official went on to say that key positions in Aden are still being controlled by Yemeni army troopers and fighters from allied Popular Committees, adding that they are pushing ahead to drive pro-Hadi gunmen out of Aden.
Bukhaiti also said Saudi Arabia has reaped nothing from its deadly aerial campaign against Yemen, and has instead suffered huge losses.
This is while, Saudi military bases in Jizan came under Yemenis’ retaliatory shellfire.
Meantime, fierce exchanges of fire have broken out between pro-Hadi militiamen and Emirati forces on the one side and Ansarullah fighters on the other. The fierce clashes have left scores of Emirati troopers dead and three others injured, the Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported.
Saudi military aircraft also launched at least a dozen aerial assaults against the main prison and a vocational training center in the Hawtah district of Yemen’s southwestern province of Lahij. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties there. Saudi jets also reportedly bombarded Yemen’s Hajjah several times.
People gather at the site of a Saudi airstrike on the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, July 20, 2015. (© AFP)
Saudi fighter jets also attacked Yemen’s Dhubab region and also targets in the province of Sa’ada, killing at least one civilian and injuring several others there.
Moreover, Saudi warplanes struck border areas in the same province, though no information about possible casualties and the extent of damage was immediately available.
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 Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Tuesday that at least 1,693 civilians have been killed and 3,829 others injured ever since in the Arab country. However, local sources say over 4,500 people have lost their lives in the Saudi onslaught.