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Iran Press TV

Yemeni army soldiers, allied fighters wrest control over major base in Ma'rib

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 21 November 2020 6:37 AM

Yemeni army troops, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have taken full control of a sprawling military base in the country's central province of Ma'rib, following fierce armed clashes with Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Local news outlets reported late on Friday that the Yemeni soldiers and allied fighters had established control over the strategic Maas base, which lies approximately 57 kilometers from the provincial capital city of Ma'rib, after they exchanged heavy gunfire with militants from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafist Islah Party.

The military base reportedly overlooks the city of Ma'rib, and was the last major bastion of the militants in the area.

Reports say in light of continued advances of the Yemeni army troops and allied Popular Committees fighters in Ma'rib province and its environs, and their ability to secure the vast desert region between al-Jawf and Ma'rib provinces and cut the supply lines of Saudi-paid militiamen besides complete control over Maas military base, Saudi-led mercenaries' morale has been sapped and they are in a state of sheer panic.

A senior commander of the militants has reportedly ordered his henchmen in despair to sell their homes.

The sense of despair has been heightened by Saudi Arabia's continued withdrawal of its military forces and heavy armaments from Ma'rib, an indication that the provincial capital city of the same name is about to be seized by the Yemeni army and its allies.

Over the past few days, hit-and-run confrontations west of the city of Ma'rib have turned into a war of attrition for Hadi loyalists, and intensified Saudi airstrikes, which have exceeded 200 raids since the middle of last week, resulted in high casualties within the ranks of the Saudi mercenaries.

Moreover, the Saudi-backed militiamen have suffered humiliating defeats in regions located between al-Jawf and Ma'rib provinces in recent days, and lost more than 150 members, according to tribal sources.

The sources accused parties loyal to the Saudi-led coalition of taking their internal conflicts to battlegrounds and getting rid of their opponents indirectly by sending forces under duress to open fronts without securing them.

The Saudi-led coalition has even made explicit threats to pro-Hadi forces that they would consider any forces withdrawing from areas west of Ma'rib as a legitimate target.

UN urged to stop Saudi aggression, blockade against Yemen

Meanwhile, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen, has hailed United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' warning that the war-torn Arab country is in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen in decades, saying it sheds light on the plight of Yemenis as a result of the Saudi-led bombardment campaign and siege.

Houthi, in a brief statement, called on the UN chief to condemn the Saudi-led blockade and work towards its removal as the siege violates international principles, and the Saudi-led coalition has illegally impounded Yemen-bound ships as the vessels have all acquired international permits beforehand.

He also called for a joint meeting between delegates from the Yemeni National Salvation Government and leading representatives of international organizations in order to work out workable solutions to the lingering problems.

Houthi highlighted that the failure of aggressor states and their mercenaries to comply with their obligations has resulted in the rapid depreciation of the the Yemeni riyal and the enormous sufferings that Yemeni people are enduring.

5,700 children killed in Yemen war: Report

Furthermore, SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties says more than 5,700 children have lost their lives in Yemen as a result of Saudi-led bombing campaign, rocket and mortar attacks, as well as shrapnel from mines.

The Geneva-based organization noted that airstrikes, shootings, or turning schools into military depots and barracks have barred more than 2 million children from attending school in Yemen.

"The war created a disastrous situation in Yemen, causing the worst humanitarian crisis, and making more than 12 million children in need of humanitarian aid," SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said in a report.

It added, "Since the outbreak of the conflict in March 2015, children in most areas of Yemen have been living without services and suffering many violations and challenges in order to obtain basic needs in terms of food, clothing, and medicine."

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties underscored that diseases and epidemics in Yemen, the latest of which were COVID-19, have doubled the suffering of children in a country, where nearly 2000,000 million children suffer from acute malnutrition, and 400,000 children suffer from life-threatening malnutrition.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a military onslaught against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi's government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives for over the past five years.

The Ansarullah movement, backed by armed forces, has been defending Yemen against the Saudi-led alliance, preventing the aggressors from fulfilling the objectives of the atrocious war.

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