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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Yemeni army scores crucial gain northeast of rebel-held Sana'a

Troops fought a fierce battle with the Houthis to reach the Arhab district, a strategic point

Yemeni fighters loyal to the government, with massive air support from the UAE-backed Arab coalition, dealt Al Qaeda a blow in Hadramaut. AFP
Yemeni fighters loyal to the government, with massive air support from the UAE-backed Arab coalition, dealt Al Qaeda a blow in Hadramaut. AFP

Yemeni army troops backed by the pro-government Arab Coalition stormed a district 25 kilometres northeast of Yemen’s capital Sana’a, which is currently under control of Houthi rebels.

Troops fought a fierce battle with the Houthis to reach the Arhab district, Khaled Al Karni a journalist working for the Yemeni army told The National on Friday.

Mr Al Karni said forces fighting to restore the internationally recognised government to power had advanced to Haran area, a key point on the outskirts of Arhab, which links three Yemeni provinces Amran, Al Jawf and Sana'a.

The offensive, which is still ongoing, was launched on Friday. Troops scored a crucial gain as they passed through Nahim and arrived in the northern parts of Arhab.

"17 of the Houthi militants were killed amid raging confrontations in Arhab among them three Houthi leaders. The battle is ongoing up to the moment of writing," Mr Al Karni said.

Arhab is a strategic location in regard to the battle with the Houthi militia because it overlooks Sana’a and links Amran province, which connects with Sada province, another stronghold of the Houthis.

Any advance for the Yemeni army from Arhab to Amran province would cut a key Houthi supply route and would mean the militants would be unable to get supplies or reinforcements through to Sana’a.

In the south of Yemen, the Arab coalition pushed back a Houthi attack targeted at the government held Al Marboosh hill in the Hayfan area of Taez province, Ala Sultan a journalist stationed in neighbouring Lahj province told The National.

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