Yemen: pro-government forces gain ground in Houthi-controlled territories in Al Bayda

Coalition aircraft launched air strikes in the province on Tuesday

A members of Yemeni resistance forces of Abu Jabr brigade is seen near a front line position in Zi Naem town of Al-Bayda governorate,  May 9, 2018.  Photo/ Asmaa Waguih
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Pro-government forces in the province of Al Bayda in south-east Yemen gained significant ground in two Houthi-controlled areas on Tuesday, an official said.

The army troops, along with public resistance, launched a large-scale offensive on Tuesday morning on sites under the rebels’ control in Al Malagem and Natea in the north of the province.

"The military operation in northern Al Bayda made crucial progress by liberating many strategic sites such as Al Ghadeer hills, Al Shaheid mountain chain, and Ashar junction and Wadi Fadha in Al Malagem front," Mustafa Al Baydani a spokesman for the public resistance in Al Bayda, told The National.

“Many Houthi leaders evacuated their families from the central city of Al Bayda towards Sanaa fearing the rapid progress by the army and the resistance in the province."

Coalition aircraft launched air strikes in northern Al Bayda on Tuesday, aimed at cutting off Houthi reinforcements and covering the advancing troops from the army and resistance.

“The air strikes destroyed Houthi military vehicles and killed more than 40 Houthi fighters,” Col Ali Al Kulaibi, the commander leading the troops in Al Malagem, told the Yemeni news agency Saba.

Separately, the Houthi rebels attacked a Safer oil pipeline pumping station in Serwah area of Marib province northern Yemen on Sunday, Hamza Al Muradi a spokesman for Al Muradi tribes fighting the Houthis, told The National.

“The rebels targeted the pumping station with more than four Katyusha rockets causing grave damage in the pipelines that link the Safer oil refinery in Marib with Ras Isa port in Hodeidah."

On Tuesday, the Yemeni Ministry of Oil and Minerals condemned the Houthi attack.

The ministry called on the Arab Coalition and Yemeni authorities to take necessary measures to secure all oil and gas companies and facilities.