A Yemeni military source told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that Saudi-paid militants and troops withdrew from Aqabat Malih after Yemeni troops and their allies moved in following fierce clashes.
The source said the takeover of the hilltop marks a significant advance towards Bayhan town, some 200 kilometers from the provincial capital city of Ataq.
Yemeni army soldiers and Popular Committees fighters have launched a multi-pronged offensive in Shabwah in an attempt to choke off supplies of weapons and new fighters to the Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries.
Sunday’s advance came after Yemeni troops and allies seized Aqaba al-Qanza hilltop, which overlooks the town of Bayhan, a day earlier.
Elsewhere in the central Yemeni province of Ma’rib, tribal sources reported heavy fighting going on between Yemeni army forces and Popular Committees fighters on one side and Saudi-backed militants loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi on the other.
The sources said Saudi-paid militants were losing ground to the Sana’a-based government forces despite heavy pounding of the western neighborhoods of Ma’rib by the Saudi coalition.
Tribal and military sources said Yemeni army soldiers and Popular Committees fighters have managed to break through the enemy’s defenses, and made significant advances on some fronts.
The sources said the Sana’a-based government forces have carried out several drone strikes against the positions of Hadi loyalists south of Ma’rib, and fired missiles at Sahn al-Jinn military camp.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.
The Saudi war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. The war has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the Arab country.