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Saudi Defense Minister & Jordan King Strongly Condemn Iran Meddling

03 August 2015

By Nejm Fateh

Popular resistance forces in Yemen gained a major victory on Monday, August 3rd as they seized the strategic Anad military airbase in Lahij Province, Al Jazeera TV reported.

"The Anad military airbase is under the full control of popular military forces," said the commander of these units in Lahij Province. "Popular resistance forces have also seized the base of the 5th army brigade in this province. Therefore, this province has been cleansed of Houthi militants to a large extent," he added in his interview with Al Jazeera TV.

Over 50 Houthi militants and elements of Ali Abdullah Salah were killed or injured in these clashes.

Yemen: 3 provinces taken over by popular resistance fighters

The official spokesman of the Yemen popular resistance forces declared these units have completely taken over all of Lahij Province. This is the third province that has been pulled out of Houthis' control after Aden, he said on Wednesday, August 5th.

Moreover, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes against various Houthi-controlled areas in Taizz continued. Five more troops of Ali Abdallah Salah and Houthi militants west of Taizz were killed in an ambush placed by resistance forces. A Houthi commander known as "Abu Mohamed" was amongst those killed.

Al Jaeera's reporter in the al-Anad airbase said popular resistance forces backed by coalition airstrikes National Army units have been able to completely clear this base of all Houthis, also taking over the a major road in this area.

Following the capture of the strategic Anad air base, Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said the victories gained by the popular resistance is not summarized in just the capture of Anab, Al Arabiya reported on August 4th. He went on to emphasize these victories will continue until all of Yemen is fully liberated. Hadi said recent victories have been gained with the support provided by the friends, brothers and the men of the popular resistance and National Army in Yemen.

Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition retake Yemen's biggest airbase in new blow for rebels

Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition retook Yemen's biggest airbase from Iran-backed rebels on Tuesday in a significant new gain after their recapture of second city Aden last month.

Their seizure of the Al-Anad base in a 24-hour assault using

heavy armour supplied by the coalition came after hundreds of Gulf Arab troops landed in Aden to bolster the loyalist fightback.Hailing victory in the battle for Al-Anad, the defence ministry vowed there would be no let-up in the war against the Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies until the authority of exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi was restored over the whole country.

The Al-Anad base, 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Aden, is strategically located on the main road north towards both the battleground third city of Taez and the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

The vast 15 square kilometre (six square mile) complex housed US troops overseeing a drone war against Al-Qaeda in Yemen until shortly before the rebels overran it in March.

Its loss is a major blow for the rebels, whose leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi claimed just Sunday that their ouster from Aden after four months of ferocious fighting was just a 'short-term' setback that would be reversed.

The loyalists swiftly pushed on from Al-Anad on Tuesday, attacking the rebel-held Labouza army camp 10 kilometres (six miles) further north, military sources said.

Pro-government sources said that the rebels lost 70 dead and 10 captured in the fighting for Al-Anad.

The loyalists suffered 24 dead and 23 wounded.

- Coalition troops on the ground -

Officers who took part in the assault said that the rebels had put up 'stiff resistance' but that Saudi-led air strikes had helped destroy their armour.

An AFP correspondent saw huge columns of tanks and artillery supplied by the coalition pounding the base's defences.

They were accompanied by large numbers of southern militiamen who formed the core of the resistance to the rebels before the deployment of reinforcements trained and equipped in Saudi Arabia.

The formerly independent south has a large secessionist movement whose supporters have made common cause with the exiled government out of shared hostility to the rebels from the Shiite north.

Some of the militiamen flew its flag.

The recapture of Al-Anad is a major boost for the defence of Aden and paves the way for a possible return by the exiled government to the southern port which was its last refuge before it fled into exile in neighbouring Saudi Arabia in March.

On Sunday, hundreds of Gulf Arab troops from the coalition entered Aden with tanks and other armour 'to help secure' it, a military source told AFP.

The Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper said 1,500 troops, most of them from the United Arab Emirates, had deployed to the city.

Aden has been devastated by four months of coalition air strikes and fighting on the ground.

- Civilians still dying in Aden -

Unexploded ordnance and booby-traps planted by the retreating rebels still pose a daily threat to civilians.

Medics said Tuesday that at least 18 had been killed and dozens wounded in the previous 24 hours alone.

Most died in northern neighbourhoods of the city where the rebels made their last stand before pulling out in mid-July.

The United Nations says the war has killed nearly 4,000 people, half of them civilians, while 80 percent of the 21 million population needs aid and protection.

Nearly 100,000 Yemenis have fled abroad since late March, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.

The United Nations has called repeatedly for a ceasefire and hosted peace talks in Geneva in June.

But the talks collapsed without the warring parties even sitting down in the same room.

The exiled government said it would only discuss the rebels' withdrawal from all of the territory they have seized in line with a resolution adopted by the UN Security Council in April. 



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