Yemen’s national army, supported by the Arab coalition, on Thursday (August 16th) liberated the centre of Hiran district in Hajjah province, and stormed the centre of Baqim district, in Saada, local news agencies reported.
The army also retook Aahem Triangle in Hajjah province, which links Harad district to al-Hodeidah, cutting supply routes used by the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah).
In a statement carried by local media, 102nd Special Forces Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Yasser al-Harethi said Yemeni forces had stormed the centre of Baqim district from the north and east.
Security forces stormed the centre of Baqim district, killing 20 Houthis and seizing large quantities of the militia's weapons and ammunition, he said.
The army is now controlling, through artillery fire, the intersection between Baqim and Dahyan districts, and the remaining districts in Saada, he added.
'A strategic victory'
Political analyst Abdul Malek al-Yussefi described the liberation of Baqim and Hiran districts as “a strategic victory” for the Yemeni forces and “a new blow” to the Houthis near Dahyan district, 20 kilometres from Baqim district.
“The national army is following a strategy whereby its forces move to besiege and exhaust the enemy and then attack it,” he told Al-Mashareq. “It did this in storming the centre of Baqim district and in liberating the centre of Hiran.”
“Controlling the strategic Aahem Triangle, in Hajjah province, is more important than retaking the centre of Hiran, as it will tighten the noose on the militias in al-Hodeidah,” he explained.
“That triangle controls the international highway between Harad and al-Hodeidah, and is the only outlet for the Houthis to al-Hodeidah,” he said.
“Controlling that triangle also will cut the Houthis’ supply lines from three provinces that support them -- Saada, Amran and Hajjah,” he added. “This is in line with the army’s strategy in strangling the enemy, and the rules of engagement followed by the Arab coalition for sparing civilians.”
“In addition, controlling the triangle will enable the army to move eastward to Haydan district in Saada and besiege Houthis and their leader in their own stronghold,” al-Yussefi said.