Houthi Assaults Rock Hodeidah, Yemeni Army Confirms Active Operations

Houthi Assaults Rock Hodeidah, Yemeni Army Confirms Active Operations

Friday, 16 November, 2018 - 09:30
Yemeni pro-government forces gather at a checkpoint in a street on the eastern outskirts of Hodeida. — AFP
Taiz, Sanaa – Asharq Al-Awsat
Despite reports claiming calm returning to Hodeidah and Yemen’s national army pausing military advances, clashes persisted in light of Houthi militants’ continued assaults and leading of oppressive activities against civilians.

Not only have Houthis regrouped on battlefronts, they are actively digging trenches and reinforcing militia barracks and sniper outposts.

News agencies quoted unnamed sources that the Yemeni national army and the Saudi-led Arab Coalition had halted all military operations in Hodeidah in response to international demands.

No official statements were issued by the army or the coalition to that effect.

“Military operations are ongoing, and each operation has its own specifics and pace,” Col. Turki al-Maliki told AFP.

Yemeni army Southern-based Giants Brigades announced continuing their military sweeps of a number of Hodeidah farmlands, securing pathways for civilians to escape fighting.

In Hodeidah, Yemeni sources confirmed the death and injury of dozens of Houthis on different battle fronts as Yemeni army forces continued advancing toward the northern entrance of the city.

The advances come with great Houthi losses and the fleeing of dozens of militias from the front lines to the neighborhoods of the city.

Iran-backed Houthi militants are planting landmines around the key port of Hodeidah, residential neighborhoods, sources added.

Houthi militias are popular for planting mines in civilian areas---the Yemeni army has recently destroyed more than 2,000 Houthi mines in three days in the Hayran district alone in retaliation to army advances in Hajjah governorate, locals said.

Meanwhile, the Coalition’s air defense system detected a ballistic missile falling in the sea, which the militias had fired towards the Hodeidah Port on Wednesday.

Houthis fired the missile from the Salif District and targeted Hodeidah Port following their consecutive defeats in the city.

Military analysts said it is very likely that the Houthis were seeking to exploit the truce in Hodeidah to fortify their positions and bring in more of fighters from the Hajjah, al-Mahweet and Ibb districts.

As for battlefield causalities, the Yemeni army official mouthpiece, September Net, confirmed that 37 Houthi militiamen were killed and many others injured on Wednesday during fierce clashes on the northern front of the freed Dhale Governorate.

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