Fighters loyal to Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have advanced into territory held by Houthis, with fighting approaching the capital Sana’a, according to news reports.
Yemen has witnessed months of fighting in a civil war between supporters of its Saudi-backed government and the allegedly Iranian-backed Houthis. The conflict escalated in September 2014 when the former took over the capital Sana’a.
The forces backed by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition are reportedly fighting Houthi forces 30km from Sana’a airport.
The spokesman of the Yemeni army Brigadier General Samir Al-Haj revealed to a Saudi press that a large military operation is ongoing to regain control over the coastal cities, with Sana’a’s seizure seen as imminent.
After delays caused by land mines and attack from militias, the Yemini forces advance to Sana’a faces little further resistance and has seen cooperation from the tribes surrounding the capital, according to Al-Haj.
Daily Egypt News has not been able to reach a representative from the Houthi forces to comment on Al-Haj’s claim that the seizure of Sana’a is imminent.
The forces are backed with the Arab coalition, launched by Saudi Arabia last March, to support what they contend is the legitimacy of Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi. The decision was backed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Egypt.
News of the advance came a week after a ceasefire was put into action ahead of renewed UN-backed peace talks next months.
On Saturday, Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a that was aimed at the kingdom’s southern borders on Saturday night, according to the Arab Coalition fighting Houthi rebels.
The Saudi forces launched retaliatory strikes destroying the launching pad within Yemeni territory.