| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Coalition pounds Houthi militia positions across Yemen

Intensified air raids, by Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen warplanes, were conducted on Monday, against Houthi military positions, including command rooms, in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah, hours after pounding other military locations in Sanaa, local media reports and residents said.

The coalition raids hit military vehicles, missile and mortar launchers, troops and other targets in Haradh, with the aim of blunting Houthi attacks on government troops and smoothing the way for loyalists to advance on the ground.

At the same time, government troops engaged in heavy fighting with the Houthis in Haradh and Abes as the militia intensified attacks after receiving reinforcements from neighboring provinces under their control.

Fighting in Haradh has raged since last month when government troops, backed by air cover and military logistics from the coalition, mounted an offensive to take control the strategic city, which has the country’s largest border crossing with Saudi Arabia.

The intense airstrikes in Hajjah came shortly after the coalition launched a military operation in Sanaa early on Monday, targeting Houthi sites across the capital, including missile and ammunition warehouses and workshops for assembling and booby-trapped drones.

Residents reported hearing large explosions that shook parts of the city.

In the central province of Marib, fierce fighting broke out over the past 24 hours as the Houthis mounted new attacks on government troops in Juba district, local media and officers said.

The Houthis failed to make any gains after government troops, also backed by the coalition’s warplanes, repelled their attacks.

Thousands of Houthis and government troops have been killed since early 2021 when the militia resumed an offensive to seize control of energy-rich Marib, the government’s last bastion in the northern half of the country.

The fighting in Hajjah and Marib is happening as the UN Yemen envoy, Hans Grundberg, on Monday announced a string of intensive discussions with over 100 Yemeni figures, including leaders of key parties, economists, businessmen and civil society leaders, to help reach a peaceful settlement to end the war.

“This is a dire time for Yemen,” Grundberg said. “The conflict, which is soon entering its eighth year, continues to exacerbate the suffering of civilians, to threaten regional stability, and undermine the prospects of a peaceful solution.

“There is an urgent need to establish an inclusive political process that reverses this destructive trajectory and provides opportunities and space for dialogue at multiple levels.”

  • Arab News