SHAFAQNA – Fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement have managed to expel al-Qaeda-affiliated militants from the al-Houta district in Yemen’s southwestern governorate of Lahij.
A number of militants were killed during fierce clashes on Wednesday as Ansarullah fighters and Yemen’s army forces successfully drove militants out the key city.
According to reports, Houta is currently under the full control of the Ansraullah, which also controls the capital Sana’a and other major provinces. The revolutionary fighters, known as Houthis, are pressing ahead with their operations against terrorists despite an ongoing military campaign by Saudi Arabia targeting their positions.
This is the second time the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is suffering a defeat in Houta, a provincial capital with a population of tens of thousands. Terrorists captured the town in late March, but it fell under the control of Yemen’s army in a matter of hours.
Houta is about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the southern port city of Aden, where clashes are ongoing between Ansarullah fighters and militants.
AQAP militants and other terrorist groups enjoy the support of Saudi Arabia as numerous reports show Saudi warplanes have airdropped arms and ammunition to the areas under the terrorists’ control.
Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against Yemen started on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Ansarullah and to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
Over 1,800 people have been killed and 7,330 injured due to the conflict in Yemen since March 19, according to the UN.