Yemen War

Escalation in Yemen undermines international calls for calm

The Saudi alliance and other parties in the war in Yemen have stepped up threatening to undermine United Nations calls for a truce to focus efforts on the threat of an outbreak of the emerging coronavirus pandemic.

Yemeni sources said that the Saudi coalition launched a series of violent raids that affected various Yemeni regions, while Al-Jawf governorate witnessed the most violent battles a week ago.

Coalition raids targeted the Khub and Al-Sha`f district, Al-Jawf governorate, in conjunction with fierce battles on the ground.

The coalition air forces also launched three raids on the Rajam area in Bani Hashish district, and a raid on the Nahham district in Sana’a governorate. In Saada governorate, aviation launched 6 raids on districts bordering the border fence with the Kingdom.

This comes as the battles returned to Al-Jawf governorate after a week of calm, after a violent attack by the Houthis in the Khub and Al-Sha`f district, which they are seeking to complete control of.

A military source in the Yemeni government forces said, “the national army and tribesmen thwarted simultaneous Houthi attacks in the deserts of Khob and Al-Sha`f.”

The source indicated that the battles resulted in the seizure by the government forces of five Houthi military patrols, and 22 of them were captured.

While talking about the killing of dozens of Houthis without giving a specific number, the source revealed that more than 15 soldiers of the forces of legitimacy and “popular resistance” were killed and wounded.

Yesterday, the fighting escalated in the Yemeni province of Ma’rib. Sarawah district, west of Ma’rib, witnessed the fiercest battles at all during the current year, in conjunction with coalition fighters launching a series of raids in Ma’rib and Al-Jawf governorates.

Dozens of members of the Houthi group launched a large-scale offensive operation on important mountain ranges in the Al-Mashjah area, which is affiliated with the Sirwah District, with the aim of firing control of Kovel camp, the most important military base where the legal forces are stationed in western Ma’rib.

Sources in the Yemeni National Army stated that the legitimate forces carried out a counter attack, which resulted in the liberation of various sites in the Mashjah area, and the cordon around a full battalion of Houthi elements in the Sarwah front.

In turn, government sources reported that dozens of Hothies were killed and wounded due to the intensity of the attack, without providing specific numbers.

According to the army, a number of Sharia forces were killed and dozens wounded, including the prominent commander Diab al-Qibli Nimran, commander of the 103rd Infantry Brigade in Sarwah.

The Houthis did not officially announce the offensive operation in Sarwah, and during the recent period the group postponed talking about its military gains until the extension of control over entire provinces, as happened in Al-Jawf governorate, in the middle of this March.

The first signs of a new escalation began, at dawn yesterday, when the Saudi coalition announced the interception and destruction of a number of Houthi unmanned aircraft over the cities of Abha and Khamis Mushayt, south of Saudi Arabia.

The escalation of the Tor came after the issuance of a statement by the UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, in which he expressed his happiness with the “positive responses” from the Yemeni government and the Houthis to the call of the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the ceasefire, and his invitation to them to an urgent meeting to discuss ways to translate what they have taken from obligations to reality.

The new military operations may be a setback to the efforts of the United Nations, which expected “the commitment of the parties to stop the hostilities and give the Yemeni people the best interests of everything.”

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