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Yemeni forces make rapid advances in Marib amid clashes with Saudi mercenaries

Forces loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni regime clash with Ansarullah fighters in Yemen’s Ma’rib province, November 22, 2020. (File photo by AFP)

Yemeni armed forces and allied popular committees have made significant territorial gains in the strategic Ma’rib province, seizing control over large swaths of territory from the Saudi-backed mercenaries.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, a spokesman for the Yemeni government forces, at a press conference on Tuesday revealed details of the military operation dubbed ‘Fajr Al-Intisaar’ (Dawn of Victory), which came in the wake of a series of attacks by Saudi-backed aggressors in recent days.

The official said the latest military operation was launched after the success of the previous operation dubbed ‘Al-Baas Al-Shadeed’ to liberate the strategic province from the Saudi-backed mercenaries.

"With the participation of various military units, the Mujahideen began to carry out the plan that necessitated the attack on the enemy from several sides, before the main sides branched out into several other sub-sides," he posted on his Twitter later.

"Every mercenary, agent, traitor can save his life and leave his position as our forces advance, our forces will allow him to escape and leave even if he is carrying his personal weapon," he added.


1-The armed forces launched Operation Fajar Al Entessar "Dawn of Victory", which aimed to liberate other areas in Marib Governorate and to defeat the invaders, traitors, agents and mercenaries.

— Yahya Sare'e (@Yahya_Saree) October 12, 2021


He said the Yemeni army in the latest offensive had liberated an area spanning 600 sq km from the enemy forces, and that it was inching closer to the provincial capital, 75 miles east of the capital Sana’a.

The forces loyal to Yemen’s national salvation government in the early hours of Tuesday made inroads into several areas in the city of al-Juba, while continuing advances toward the cities of al-Jadid, al-Rawda and other adjoining areas in the oil-rich Ma’rib province.

The fresh offensive launched by the Yemeni government forces inflicted heavy casualties and collateral damage on the Saudi-backed camp, which includes the al-Qaeda fighters, reports said.

In al-Abdiyah, Yemeni government forces took control of the areas of Kharafan and al-Hijla, while pushing back the demoralized enemy forces after killing their top-rung leaders.

In a humanitarian gesture, the government forces also announced that the wounded mercenaries besieged in al-Abdiyah would be allowed to leave the area to receive medical treatment in Sana’a.

“Any mercenary who leaves the battlefield will be given a chance to survive,” Saree told reporters, while stressing that strict instructions were given to government forces not to kill the wounded.

The spokesman said the operations to fully liberate areas currently under enemy control in the central Yemeni province will continue, hailing the resilience shown by people in the face of draconian sanctions and a crippling blockade.

“Freedom is possible only by rejecting foreign occupying forces and cleansing our land from the filth of the aggressors and their allies,” Saree remarked, adding that the Saudi-led coalition forces had carried out 948 airstrikes, targeting civilian homes and roads, during the latest operation.

The "most notable" result of the operation, he stressed, was the liberation of the geographical area in Al Bass Al Shadebed, looking down upon Marib city, and shooting down 6 US-made spy fighter planes and 11 spy planes.

He said the shooting down of enemy planes “created fear in the ranks of aggressors”, preventing more strikes.

Giving further details about the operation, the military spokesman said the missile unit had carried out 68 attacks, targeting enemy bases, barracks and headquarters, out of which 49 attacks were carried out in the occupied territories of Yemen and 19 deep inside the Saudi territory.

The offensive from the Yemeni government forces came after relentless attacks in recent days by the Saudi-backed aggressors in the province, which damaged residential properties and farms and rendered hundreds of people homeless.

Ever since some regions in the strategic province of Ma’rib, which sits at a crossroads between the southern and northern regions, were liberated by the Yemeni forces recently, Saudi Arabia and its allies have significantly stepped up their military aggression.

On Monday, Yemeni media reports said Saudi warplanes bombed the oil-rich province at least 24 times, with al-Abdiyah being struck 21 times, Juba twice and Qaniyah once.

The six-year foreign-imposed war has killed tens of thousands of people in Yemen, according to global relief agencies.

Multiple UN-brokered talks between the two sides have failed to produce a breakthrough over the years as Saudi-backed foreign mercenaries have sought to inflict harm on the people of Yemen.

The UN children’s agency UNICEF describes the conflict as “a living hell” for children, with 1.8 million under-fives suffering severe malnutrition.

While Saudi-led allies have lost much of the territory they had occupied following the 2015 invasion, Yemeni armed forces and the allied popular committees have grown in strength.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Human Rights Council dropped an investigation into possible war crimes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen amid reports of intense lobbying by Riyadh.

Members of the UN rights body pushed through a vote on Thursday to shut down war crimes investigations in Yemen, with 21 countries voting against the motion, 18 in favor and seven abstentions.

The vote marked the first time a resolution has been defeated in the UN Human Rights Council's 15-year history. 

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