Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Yemen Western-backed PM Claims Victory Over Houthis in Al-Hudaydah
With help of Saudi-led coalition, Yemen army has retaken 85 percent of all territory lost to Houthis, prime minister claims

Army forces are on the cusp of victory against Houthi rebels in Yemen’s western Al-Hudaydah province, Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr said Wednesday.

Fighting, he said, was still underway in the province, where a Saudi-led coalition is supporting pro-government forces on the ground, Yemen’s government-run SABA news agency quoted bin Daghr as saying.

“Our victory in Al-Hudaydah will be followed by the liberation of the Taiz, Ibb, Al-Mahwit and Saada provinces,” the prime minister said.

The “liberation” of Al-Hudaydah’s strategic seaport, he added, “will allow us to secure navigation and maintain security in international waters”.

Bin Daghr went on to assert that the Yemeni army, with the help of “popular resistance” forces and the Saudi-led coalition, had so far managed to retake 85 percent of the territory captured earlier by the Houthis.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence and chaos since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- who accuse the Houthis of serving as an Iranian proxy force -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The ongoing violence has devastated the country’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Reporting by Mohamed al-Samei:Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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