Yemeni army captures Houthi base in Taez

Arab coalition-backed troops report a string of victories against Houthi rebels

In this Feb. 12, 2018 photo, young Saudi-led backed forces, part of Ahmed Al-Kawkabani's southern resistance unit in Hodeida, patrol al-Khoukha, Yemen. Young men, some as young as 12, have served on the front lines throughout Yemen’s 3-year-old war and as the fight drags on, they now are shattered generation. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
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The Yemeni army reports new gains against Houthi rebels with the liberation of the Al Waziya front and advances along the western coast of the country.

The Waziya front, located northeast of the coastal town of Mocha, was declared liberated on Saturday, with UAE national news agency Wam reporting the offensive "inflicted heavy human and material damage on the rebels."

The advance follows Friday's reported victory where the Yemeni army captured Al Ommari military base.

With support from UAE forces, the army took hilltop positions overlooking the liberated Thabab coastal area from rebel Houthi forces.

"The military base of Al-Ommari is strategic because it links four districts in Taez province," Tariq Al-Mulaiki, a reporter with the Yemeni army in Taez told The National. "It also controls the main route linking Thubab with Mocha harbor and on to Hodiedah."

In fierce clashes on Friday, Yemeni troops also liberated a mountain chain in the Kahboob area. The area overlooks the narrow Bab al-Mandab Strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, an important global shipping route.

"Our forces, supported by the Arab coalition jets, drove the Houthi militia out of their last pockets in Al-Hogaiga Mountain," Lt. Mohammed Al-Naqeeb told The National. The advance captured bunkers and caves used as weapons depots by the Houthis, the spokesperson of the fourth military zone added.

The Yemeni army is also making gains in Al-Baydha region in central Yemen, north of the port city of Aden where the government of Yemen is operating in exile.

"Army forces completely liberated the strategic mountain of Al-Karha and cleansed the Houthi militia pockets remaining on Al-Dhaher Mountain amid fierce confrontations that led to the killing of 35 of the Houthi militants," Hussein Al-Humaikani a fighter with the public resistance in Al-Baydha told The National.

Since 2015, the government of Yemen has been fighting a civil war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who remain in control of the capital Sanaa and much of Yemen’s western coastline.