On September 23, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) announced that they have imposed full control of the central Yemen province of al-Bayda after seizing the last positions of Saudi-backed forces in an operation codenamed “Dawn of Freedom”.
“Operation Dawn of Freedom primarily targeted the remaining dens of so-called al-Qaeda and ISIS, who are affiliated with the coalition of aggression … Today, we announce that our forces, with the support and backing of al-Bayda tribes and their loyal and free men, were able to complete the mission successfully,” Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthis said while announcing the operation.
In the course of the operation, which was completed within 48 hours, the Houthis captured 2,700 square kilometers in al-Bayda, including the districts of Sawma’ah and Maswarah as well as large parts of the Mukayris district.
Saudi-backed forces sustained heavy losses as a result of the operation. According to Brig. Gen. Sari, 70 Saudi-backed fighters were killed, 120 were wounded and 40 others were captured by the Houthis. Ten military vehicles were also destroyed.
The Saudi-led coalition provided its proxies with close air support. More than 30 airstrikes hit the Houthis. However, the airstrikes ineffective.
The Houthis made significant gains in al-Bayda during the first, second and third phases of Operation Evident Victory over the last few months. Saudi-backed forces, which allegedly include elements of al-Qaeda and ISIS, showed no real resistance.
The Houthis’ victory in al-Bayda will mount even more pressure on Saudi-backed forces in al-Ma’rib, who appear to be the brink of complete collapse.
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