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Yemeni forces advance in Jawf near Saudi border

Saudi troops patrol in the southern province of Jazan along the border with Yemen in this file photo. (Via AP)

Yemeni army and popular committees have taken control of strategic areas in the northern province of Jawf on the border with Saudi Arabia.

Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network cited field sources on Friday as saying that the Yemeni forces are tightening their grip on the area of Alyutamah, the administrative center of Jawf’s Khabb wa ash Sha'af district.

Alyutamah, the last stronghold of Saudi-backed militants in Jawf, was captured by the Yemeni forces overnight, according to a report by Arabi 21 news website.

Alyutamah is strategically important as it lies near the border with Saudi Arabia and as an international road, which leads to Albuqa border crossing that connects Yemen and Saudi Arabia, passes through it.

Albuqa border crossing lies in the eastern part of Yemen’s Sa’ada province, and opposite al-Khadhra border crossing which is located in southern Saudi Arabia.

Later on Friday, al-Mayadeen reported that the Yemeni forces also took control of the strategic international road in Alyutamah.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies -- including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015.

The war was launched to eliminate Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The war, accompanied by a tight siege, has failed to reach its goals, but it has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people.

The UN says more than 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger. The world body also refers to the situation in Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.

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