“Ma’rib is a Yemeni province. Our military operations, God willing, will continue until the last foreign soldier, who has occupied our soil, is either expelled or killed,” Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a top member of Ansarullah’s political bureau, wrote in a post published on his Twitter page on Friday.
The tweet came hours after Yemeni soldiers and Popular Committees fighters could establish control over the al-Abdiyah district in Ma’rib province after weeks-long clashes with Saudi-sponsored militants.
A local source, requesting not to be named, said the Yemeni armed forces had also seized nearby Wadi al-Qata’ area.
The source added that the Yemeni army soldiers and Popular Committees fighters also managed to take control of important and strategic positions in the al-Jubah district, as they continued to advance and score territorial gains in Ma’rib province.
Late on Friday, Yemeni social media activists published a series of pictures, showing armored vehicles and heavy military hardware being withdrawn from Ma’rib towards al-Wadiyah area.
Al-Wadiyah is reportedly located in the northern-central part of Yemen, and lies between the provinces of Hadhramaut and al-Jawf, and borders Saudi Arabia.
Experts and Yemeni military sources said the Saudi-led coalition has removed its heavy military equipment in light of dramatic on-ground advances by Yemeni army soldiers and their allies in Ma’rib province.
‘Change of commander proves Saudi forces’ fiasco’
A senior member of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen has reacted to the appointment of General Mutlaq bin Salem al-Azima as the commander of Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen.
“Policy change would be a beneficial measure. Change of commanders would rather prove failure and let-down,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi tweeted.
Saudi Arabia issued a host of royal decrees on Friday, including the appointment of Azima.
Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.
Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees, however, have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.