Saudi coalition forces intensify strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen

Cairo (Associated Press)-In recent weeks, a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iran-backed insurgents in Yemen, speeding up airstrikes in the capital and other parts of this conflict-affected country because government forces are on the west coast and The important province of Malibu is advancing, officials said Sunday.

The coalition stated that it attacked military installations in Sana’a controlled by the rebels and launched air strikes on the strategically important Houthi front lines in Malibu and Hodeidah provinces.

Military officials on both sides said that at the same time, government forces occupied a major area in Hodeidah province and other areas on the west coast of Yemen. These officials requested anonymity because they did not have the right to report the situation to the media.

The rebels did not immediately comment on the government’s progress in Hodeidah. However, the Houthi media reported that coalition forces launched dozens of air strikes against rebels in Hodeidah, Malibu, Sana’a, Tazi and Sa’ada provinces.

As fighting has escalated in recent weeks, the rebels have repeatedly opposed the diplomatic efforts of the United Nations and the United States to end the Houthis’s offensive against Saudi Arabia’s Marib and missile and drone attacks. The United Nations and the United States hope that the Houthis will participate in negotiations to resolve the years-long conflict in Yemen.

The war in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthi armed forces that controlled most of the northern part of the country took over Sana’a. The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in 2015, determined to restore the government and drive out the rebels. This conflict has become a regional proxy war, killing tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers. The war also caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, caused millions of people to suffer from food and medical shortages, and pushed the country to the brink of famine.

According to the Saudi News Agency, the Saudi-led coalition stated that in the past week, it has launched multiple air strikes against Houthi barracks and the warehouses of Sana’a with ballistic missiles and drones carrying explosives.

According to military officials from both sides, in Hudaydah province, government forces controlled the Hayes district and a major highway connecting the disputed port city of Hudaydah with the capital controlled by the rebels.

The spokesperson of the Yemeni Armed Forces, Abdu Abdullah Magli, said that with the support of the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, the troops advanced to the Jabal Raas and Garrahi areas south of the city of Hodeidah.

The development took place three weeks after the redeployment of pro-government forces known as the joint forces from Hudaydah, and they felt that they had no need to stay after the ceasefire facilitated by the United Nations in 2018 ended fighting in coastal cities.

The escalation of the situation in Hodeidah is a setback for the agreement, which is seen as an important first step towards ending the wider conflict in Yemen, which was destroyed by years of civil war but was never fully implemented.

Officials said that in the port city of Mocha on the west coast of Yemen, government forces launched the most violent offensive in many years by the Houthi forces in the city, regaining several nearby towns in the past two weeks.

Military spokesman Magley said that with the help of coalition air strikes, government forces accelerated their attacks on southern Malibu province and “regained an important strategic position” from the Houthis.

He said that government forces and tribal fighters also attacked insurgents on the southern front of Malibu province, causing dozens of casualties among Houthi fighters.

For months, the insurgents have been trying to seize the oil-rich city of Malibu before proceeding with reconciliation negotiations to complete control of the northern half of Yemen. The Houthis have also upgraded ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles carrying explosives in cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia.

In recent weeks, the Houthis’ offensive against Malibu has worsened the already dire situation in the province and caused a large number of newly displaced persons to flood into crowded camps on the outskirts of Malibu. According to the United Nations immigration agency, the number of new immigrants in 137 camps for displaced persons in the province has increased nearly 10 times since September.

The International Organization for Migration stated last month that since September, more than 45,000 people in Malibu have been forced to leave their homes, many of whom have been forced to leave their homes for the fourth or fifth time since the beginning of the Yemen war.

Christa Rottensteiner, head of the Bureau of Immigration in Yemen, said: “The International Organization for Migration is very worried that if violence spreads to this city, hundreds of thousands of people may be forced to relocate again, as well as civilian casualties. The increase in the number of people and the possibility of destruction of civilian infrastructure.”.

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