Yemen fighters ‘liberate’ southern province

The fighters were based in the southern port of Aden and made gains against the Houthis in Dalea following heavy fighting

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Pro-government forces in Yemen, strengthened by tanks newly supplied by a Saudi-led coalition, announced on Saturday they “liberated” the southern province of Dalea from Houthi militia control, according to Al Arabiya News Channel.

The fighters, loyal to President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, were based in the southern port of Aden and made gains against the Houthis in Dalea following heavy fighting. There is yet no word on casualties.

The gains followed an offensive launched on Saturday to retake the Houthi-held capital of Abyan province.

A two-pronged drive on the southern province’s capital of Zinjibar was launched from the north and south, military sources told Agence France-Presse.

It came two days after tribal and military sources said Saudi Arabia, leading an Arab coalition air war on the Iran-backed Houthi militia group, had sent new military equipment including tanks to Yemen.

The tanks were part of a package of reinforcements including armored vehicles and personnel carriers as well as hundreds of Yemeni soldiers trained in kingdom, a military source said.

This week has seen heavy fighting in Zinjibar and heavy coalition air strikes against positions of the 15th Army Brigade allied to the Houthis.

The coalition has since March 26 supported loyalists with air strikes to halt advances by the Houthis, who seized Sanaa last year before pressing south into the port city of Aden.

But pro-government forces retook Aden last month and seized the key airbase of Al-Anad to its north on Tuesday.

Aden was Hadi's last refuge before he fled into exile with his government in Saudi Arabia in March.

The International Committee of the Red Cross head arrived Saturday in Sanaa at the start of a three-day visit to assess the "dire humanitarian situation" in the country.

(With AFP)

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