Yemen: plan to boost local forces after liberating territory from Houthis

The oil-rich Shabwa province is freed from rebel control

Government-aligned forces arrive in the liberated Yemeni province of Shabwa. AFP
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Troops from Al Amalika Southern Forces, a pro-government formation in Yemen, have arrived in Aden, heading back from Shabwa province after liberating it from Houthi rebel control.

The redeployment of forces came a day after the leadership of the southern troops announced ending the offensive, which began earlier in January, to liberate the oil-rich province of Shabwa from the Houthis.

Finally, we made it home, we can't express enough our joy of returning home
Mufleh Al Wadei, displaced resident

"Two brigades of our forces returned to Aden heading back to their former positions as part of a redeployment process," a military source in Al Amalika told The National on Saturday.

"Our forces are repositioning after they successfully liberated and secured the whole province of Shabwa and drove the Houthi rebels out of Harib in Southern Marib, which means that all the objectives we announced at the beginning of the offensive were totally met," the military source said.

"Troops from our forces will stay in Shabwa to help secure the oil-rich province."

The Arab Coalition is planning to construct new infantry brigades in Marib, which will include fighters from dominant local tribes and the neighbouring provinces, The National has learnt.

Life is slowly returning to normal in districts of Harib that were liberated by Al Amalika Southern Forces earlier in January, residents told The National.

"We came back home after a period of long suffering in the IDP camp in Al Wadi district," said Mufleh Al Wadei, a resident from Harib who was displaced with his family to Al Wadi district in eastern Marib.

"Finally, we made it home, we can't express enough our joy of returning home," Mr Al Wadei said.

"Our district is fully liberated and secured despite the destruction, thanks to Al Amalika, thanks to the Arab Coalition."

Ali Buhaibeh, a local resident, said life was returning to the city.

"People are cautiously returning back home because of the huge number of mines and IEDs planted by the Houthi rebels inside the residences, the schools, and along the roads," he told The National.

On Saturday, local authorities in Marib announced finishing essential repairs for the electricity network as part of an effort to normalise the situation in Harib city, the governor's office said on Facebook.

Updated: January 31, 2022, 7:46 AM