On the verge of liberation

April 21, 2021 - 22:47

TEHRAN – Yemeni forces have closed in on the strategic oil-rich city of Marib in their latest efforts to liberate the city from Saudi-backed mercenaries. 

The Yemeni Army and “popular committees” have launched an operation to capture Marib, the last stronghold of the Saudi-backed forces in northern Yemen. The Yemeni forces have successfully advanced toward the city and besieged it but they are yet to enter Marib. 

Over the last few days, these forces have intensified their war efforts prompting Saudi Arabia to carry out another bombing campaign in various parts of Yemen.

On Wednesday, Yemeni news channel Al Masirah reported that the U.S.-Saudi aerial aggression launched 14 airstrikes in Marib governorate, east of Sanaa.

Citing a security source, the channel said the airstrikes targeted Wadi Nakhla in the Sirwah district. These airstrikes came after the aggression warplanes launched a raid on the Shada district of Sa'adah governorate, in conjunction with Saudi missile and artillery shelling in various areas of the Razih border district.

However, these strikes didn’t prevent the Yemeni forces from marching toward Marib. 

Al-Jaish, a Yemeni newspaper affiliated with Yemen’s Defense Ministry, said on Monday that the Yemeni Army and Popular Committees are about to liberate the city. According to Al-Jaish, Sanaa has completed all the preparations required to liberate Marib after it successfully targeted and weakened the forces of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and other forces affiliated with Daesh and Al Qaeda. The Yemeni newspaper said the army and the committees, which have reached the outskirts of the city, are quietly conducting the battle in the areas where the displaced persons' camps are located, in order to protect the lives of civilians.

It also said that the Hadi forces are hiding behind the displaced people in the vicinity of Marib.

While Sanaa forces are preparing for another round of battles, the Saudi-backed forces seem to be losing interest in the fight against Sanaa. On Tuesday, at least 20 people including a member of parliament defected to Sanaa from Marib. Upon their arrival in Sanaa, they said that the coalition of aggression and mercenaries live in a difficult situation after the army and the popular committees were able to beleaguer them and confine them to narrow places.

They said that the Saudi-backed forces have suffered great defeats and losses over the course of the fight in Marib.  

This is while the Sanaa forces are now planning new operations. The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said on Tuesday that the armed forces of Yemen are preparing to carry out specific military operations in the name of martyr President Saleh Al-Sammad.

Commenting on the third martyrdom anniversary of Al-Sammad, Saree said the next operation, which will be in the name of Al-Sammad, will be carried out in the proper time and place. 

Al-Sammad was the head of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen and martyred in April 2018 after the Saudi-led coalition targeted his convoy in western Yemen. 

The Saudis began a war on Yemen in March 2015 in the hope of eradicating Yemen’s Ansarallah movement, which they accused of being backed by Iran. 

But after more than five years of nonstop aggression, the Saudis not only failed to defeat Ansarallah, but they also helped the movement become even stronger than ever by continuing their aggression.

With the Sanaa forces advancing toward the center of Marib, the U.S. ramped up its face to rescue the Saudis by presenting a ceasefire initiative that, if accepted, would prevent Sanaa from liberating Marib. The initiative was coldly received by Sanaa as it sees the initiative as an American ploy aimed to protect the Saudis from suffering a defeat in Marib. That may explain why the Saudis rushed to welcome the American initiative. 

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the Sanaa forces battling the Saudi-backed troops in Marib are in a better situation and have more advanced weaponry than pro-Saudi troops.

Citing military sources, Reuter said that Saudi strikes are the only thing keeping Marib, home to major oil and gas fields, from falling.

In an attempt to prevent Marib city from falling in the hands of the Yemen forces, Saudi Arabia has launched an air campaign against the Yemeni forces in a number of provinces.

However, Saudi Arabia failed to stop the march of the Sanaa forces toward Marib. This debacle is the latest in a series of failures that Saudi Arabia has faced in Yemen in recent weeks despite enjoying overwhelming international support, including from the United States.

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