SANA’A – The Yemeni army said it has cleared more than 95 percent of the northern province of Jawf from the presence of (mostly) mercenary forces fighting for a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia in an operation that killed at least 1,200 invading soldiers.
A Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, announced the news in a statement on Wednesday, saying the operation, which started in mid-March, destroyed several Saudi-led camps and cleared areas in al-Marzaiq and al-Muhashima in the province.
At least 1,200 Saudi-led mercenaries were killed in the operation, he said separately in an interview with Yemen’s al-Masirah television, adding that the newly-liberated areas covered 3,500 square kilometers, including the entire al-Hazm Desert. General Saree said that the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) and al-Qaeda terrorist groups had gained important footholds in the Jawf Desert.
The army spokesman said the Saudi-led coalition’s most important base in the province, namely the al-Labanat military camp, had been destroyed, paving the way for a similar operation in the neighboring Ma’rib Province. Saree said the Saudi-led coalition had significantly boosted its presence in Ma’rib recently and that the army and its allied fighters from Popular Committees were confronting them.
“We have strategic options that will make the enemy regret its escalation, and they must accept the consequences,” he added.
Saree also said that the Saudi-led coalition had launched more than 265 raids against the Yemeni nation in Jawf from the end of March to the beginning of April. The Saudi-led coalition invaded Yemen in 2015. Since then, over 100,000 people have been killed, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED).
The Saudi-led aggression and an accompanying blockade of Yemen continue despite the coronavirus pandemic and the impoverished country’s urgent need for medical supplies. The war has also pushed the entire country close to the brink of famine, with children being the hardest hit by it.