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Yemeni forces make remarkable advances in battle for liberation of Ma’rib

Yemeni armed forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees have made remarkable gains against militants loyal to former Riyadh-backed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the battle for the full liberation of the strategic city of Ma’rib, his last stronghold in northern Yemen.

On Sunday, Yemeni forces advanced closer to the center of Ma’rib city, the capital of an eponymous province, and managed to take full control of the northwest Kassara battlefield.

They also made progress on the western front lines despite airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition that fully supports the former president and his militants.

Since February, Ma’rib has been the scene of large-scale operations by Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters, who are pushing against Saudi-sponsored pro-Hadi militants.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and its other regional allies, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement, which significantly assists the army in defending the country against the invaders.

Ma’rib and its surrounding oilfields are the last significant pockets of territory held by pro-Hadi militants in the north.

Intense clashes between advancing Yemeni forces and pro-Hadi militants have killed at least 65 people over the past two days alone, including some 26 militants, among them four officers, AFP news reported, citing unnamed sources from militants loyal to the former president.

The sources further said that now that Yemeni forces fully control the Kassara front, the battle has moved to the al-Mil area, some six kilometers from the center of Ma’rib. The loss of the area will be a heavy blow to both Hadi forces and the Saudi-led coalition. 

The Saudi-led military aggression has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions of people. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

Yemeni forces have also stepped up retaliatory missile and drone attacks against targets deep inside Saudi Arabia in recent months.

With an all-out blockade on Yemen in place since the onset of the bloody war, the country is witnessing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.

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