Yemen’s defense forces have advanced to as far as only two kilometers from the strategic west-central city of Ma’rib, the gateway to potential liberation of much more of their homeland amid an ongoing Saudi Arabia-led aggression.
The Unews website, which covers regional developments, especially those of Yemen, reported the victory on Tuesday, saying the forces were now only two kilometers (1.2 miles) away from the city’s entrance.
Yemeni military sources said the lightning advances had taken the ranks of Saudi-led mercenaries apart, forcing them to move their military equipment outside the city and try to set up some bases there.
Leading a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia started a war against Yemen in 2015 to try to return the impoverished country’s rule to its own favorite officials there.
The Saudi-led coalition has so far stopped short of achieving the goal. Tens of thousands of Yemenis have died during the war and a simultaneous siege that the coalition has been enforcing on Yemen.
Now, the Yemeni defense forces have focused a good part of their defensive efforts on retaking Ma’rib that is of huge strategic importance, given its potential to contribute to liberation of many more areas.
‘Ma’rib key to liberation of all Yemen’
Speaking about the developments that concern Ma’rib, Yemeni political expert Brigadier General Abed al-Thawr told Press TV, “This part of Yemen’s soil serves as the key to liberation of all the eastern and southern provinces.”
He said Ma’rib practically gave the Yemeni defense forces entrée into the country’s Shabwah, Hadarmaut, and al-Mahrah as well as the entire northern border stretch with Saudi Arabia.
Apart from the Saudi-led forces, the province was also playing an unwilling host to United Arab Emirates-led mercenaries as well as terrorists fighting for the al-Qaeda and Daesh Takfiri groups, the expert said. The Takfiris, he noted, were working under the United States’ supervision there.
He, however, insisted that Ma’rib’s liberation has been “finalized” given the advances made there by the Yemeni forces.
According to the Yemen News website, as many as 115 Saudi-led militants had been either killed or injured during clashes with Yemeni defense forces.
Al-Thawr said the aggressive forces were now caught in a very bad situation in Ma’rib, noting that they had failed in their efforts to use the province’s residents as human shields to prevent its liberation.
Also addressing Ma’rib’s developments, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen, tweeted that Sana’a did not seek to resolve the situation in the province and other locations through military means.
However, the Saudis and the Emiratis as well as the United States and the UK as their supporters were imposing this choice on the Yemeni nation, he added.
He said the most immediate solution to the province’s situation lied in withdrawal of the foreign forces and Takfiri terrorists.