Hadi vows to push until Houthis defeated in Sanaa

Smoke billows from a site hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen's capital Sanaa January 30, 2016.

Smoke billows from a site hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen’s capital Sanaa January 30, 2016.

Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi said Tuesday that military operations against Houthi militias would not stop until the Yemeni capital was liberated.

Backed by airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition, popular resistance and Yemeni armed forces loyal to Hadi are fighting Houthis who control Sanaa and much of the country’s north.

Hadi, the internationally recognized president of Yemen, described the operation to recapture Sanaa as a “decisive battle that is irreversible,” in a phone call with the governor of Sanaa, cited by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Hadi said pro-government forces had achieved “a number of victories in parts of Sanaa” and that the military operation would not end until the Yemeni capital was “liberated from coup militias.”

Meanwhile, Yemeni security officials and tribal elders said fighting has intensified outside Sanaa, killing at least 30 people in two days.

They said Tuesday that some 25 fighters from both sides were killed in fighting between government forces and Houthis and their allies some 65 kilometers east of the capital. Five civilians were also killed.

In the southern port city of Aden, fighting erupted Tuesday night between government forces and al-Qaeda fighters after authorities set up roadblocks as part of a security plan.

Yemen’s conflict pits a loose array of government-allied forces against Houthi rebels and troops loyal to a former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The officials, who are neutral in the conflict, and tribal elders spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.


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