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Yemen’s Houthis Make Significant Gains Against Saudi-Led Coalition Near Capital Sana’a

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Yemen's Houthis Make Significant Gains Against Saudi-Led Coalition Near Capital Sana'a

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On January 27th, the Ansar Allah movement (the Houthis) made significant gains on the ground against the Saudi-backed coalition in Yemen.

The Houthis captured a key route that connects the capital Sana’a to the province Marib, to the east, and to Jawf to the north.

 

Dozens have been killed in the fighting around Sana’a but the Houthis appear to be getting the upper hand.

“The Houthis are now seeking to take Hazm, the capital of Jawf province,” one anonymous official from Yemen’s Saudi-controlled puppet government. The Houthis were just 5 kilometers away from the city.

The renewed impetus the Houthis fight came when on January 18th a missile strike on a Saudi-led coalition military camp killed 116 people.

Commanders loyal to Saudi-backed former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi acknowledged that the Houthis had retaken their positions during renewed fighting east of Sana’a.

“Some of these positions had been under government control for three years,” one of the commanders said.

The International Crisis Group, a Belgium-based think tank, said the Houthi fighters were making “the biggest gains” on the ground against militants.

“At the time of writing, the Houthis appeared to be making the biggest gains on the battlefield, reportedly controlling the important Nihm front north east of Sana’a after several days in which both sides claimed a series of largely symbolic victories while suffering numerous casualties,” it said in a report.

The Defense Minister of the Saudi-backed puppet government, general Mohammed Ali al-Maqdishi, admitted the Houthi advances in Nihm district.

At a meeting with loyalist commanders, he referred to what he called a “tactical withdrawal from some positions,” but it doesn’t appear to be that way.

Houthi-aligned Uprising Today reported that Hadi’s so-called Sixth Military Region in Jawf had collapsed under the joint Yemeni army and Houthi offensive. A video has been released showing Major General Abu Ali Al-Hakim touring military sites in the Majzar district in Jawf which were abandoned by the Saudi-supported fighters. The ancient city of Baraqish in the same province is also now under Houthi control.

 

This marks some of the biggest gains by the Houthis in recent months, which appears to be taking the upper hand in the conflict even more so.

The turning of the battle apparently began when the Houthis announced the success of their operation “Victory from God.”

On September 30th, 2019, the Houthis announced that they had captured approximately 2,000 Saudi-coalition troops and killed 500 more.

“During the attack, we fired 10 ballistic missiles at Najran airport to paralyze the enemy air forces (Saudi-led coalition warplanes) and launched 31 drone strikes at airports in Saudi provinces of Asir and Jizan,” Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said back then.

He added that “one of the drone attacks also targeted a sensitive site in the Saudi capital Riyadh.”

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