The spokesman for Yemen’s army says the Yemeni troops and allied fighters from Popular Committees have liberated over 1,200 square kilometers of land during the “Desert Dawn” operation in Jawf Province.
Yahya Saree on Wednesday revealed the details of the “Desert Dawn” operation, which was launched to liberate the remaining areas of Jawf, particularly Alyutamah — the administrative center of Jawf’s Khabb wa ash Sha’af district–, from the control of the Saudi-backed militants.
He said the operation resulted in the liberation of Alyutamah, the last stronghold of Saudi-backed militants in the province, with an area of more than 1,200 square kilometers.
“And thus, most of Jawf province is liberated, except for some desert areas,” Saree said.
He noted that the Yemeni forces had attacked the Saudi-backed militants “from several fronts” as part of the “Desert Dawn” operation, adding, “Our forces had succeeded in confusing the enemy in the first hours” of the operation.
According to the spokesman, the military achievement was made while the Saudi-led coalition launched “over 60 airstrikes in an attempt to hinder the progress” of the Yemeni forces.
Saree also announced that some 35 Saudi-backed mercenaries were killed and 37 others injured during the operation, in which 45 militants were also captured.
The Yemeni forces also destroyed 15 armored vehicles and seized many weapons during the operation, the spokesman added, noting that a US-made ScanEagle spy drone was also shot down during the operation.
Saree also hailed the Yemeni tribes, saying they “actively participated” in the “Desert Dawn” operation.
Pointing to the intensified Saudi airstrikes, he said that the Saudi warplanes conducted more than 500 airstrikes on several Yemeni provinces over the past two weeks, vowing retaliation for the military escalation.
“The military escalation imposes … duties and tasks on the armed forces to respond to the committed crimes,” he added.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies — including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015.
The war was launched to eliminate Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The war, accompanied by a tight siege, has failed to reach its goals, but it has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people.
The UN says more than 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger. The world body also refers to the situation in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.