Houthis suffer serious setbacks in fight over Yemen’s oil-rich provinces

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Recent military operations conducted by elite Yemeni troops inflicted serious setbacks on the Iran-backed Houthi militia in the fight over the country’s oil-rich provinces, said a military official.

The Southern Giants Brigades, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, on Sunday continued to launch a large-scale military operation against the Houthi militia in the country’s eastern part, the official told Xinhua news agency.

Following weeks of intense battles, the Southern Giants Brigades succeeded in ejecting the Houthi militia from key strategic areas in the country’s oil-rich provinces of Shabwa and Marib, according to the official.

“The Houthis are now attempting to retaliate by using ballistic missiles and explosive-laden drones attacks in addition to planting landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs),” another official of the pro-coalition Yemeni forces told Xinhua.

“The Houthi rebels gave up fighting and fled their military sites in Marib and Shabwa following the rapid progress of the Giants Brigades on-ground,” he said.

Last week, units of the Giants Brigades captured the whole district of Harib from the Houthis in Marib following days of intense battles and intensified airstrikes, according to local military sources.

They said the Houthis lost other key areas besides Harib as the Saudi-backed Yemeni forces are continuing military progress in the strategic province.

Given the numerous losses, senior Houthi leaders have launch more cross-border missile attacks against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In response, the Saudi-led coalition intensified its aerial bombardment and expanded airstrikes against the Houthi-held sites across the poorest country in the Arab world.

On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition reported that 70 Houthi militia members were killed within 24 hours as part of 24 targeted strikes in Yemen’s Marib.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since the Houthi militia overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthis forced him into exile.

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