Yemeni forces on Tuesday (January 21st) liberated a mountain range in Nahm district, north-east of Sanaa, following fierce battles with the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah).
"National Army forces have recaptured Jarshab mountains in Nahm district as part of their significant advance on the ground," the Yemeni Armed Forces Media Centre said in a statement.
This comes a day after the Yemeni army liberated another mountain range in Nahm, amidst a large-scale collapse and defection in the Houthis' ranks, it said.
The battles against the Iran-backed Houthis, who sustained significant losses, were fierce, it added.
The army's artillery targeted combat vehicles carrying reinforcements for the Houthis, north of Jarshab mountains, the statement said, adding that all vehicles were destroyed and those aboard were killed in the bombardment.
"The battles led to the death of dozens of Houthis, including field commanders," it said, adding that many of militia's military assets were destroyed.
Houthis suffer successive blows
Yemen's National Army has achieved major victories, including the liberation of al-Safeh Mountain and Tabab al-Ghoneimi in Nahm district and the capture of 12 Houthi fighters in al-Malah, east of Nahm, said military analyst Col. Yahya Abu Hatem.
"Majid al-Muayyid, commander of the so-called 'Death Battalion', and Yahya Mohammed Fadhil, who is in charge of recruiting Houthis in Nahm, were killed," he said.
Members of the Death Battalion surrendered after a 30-hour siege, he added.
"Meanwhile, air defences shot down two Houthi drones on the outskirts of Marib and al-Jawf provinces, and a third drone in Nahm district," said Abu Hatem.
Seventy-two Houthi fighters have been killed in the clashes over the past six days, according to 7th Military District spokesman Col. Abdullah al-Shandaqi.
'Opting for peace'
Political analyst Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq Yemeni forces had reached the outskirts of Bani Hashish district and Nahm, "meaning they are positioned on the outskirts of Sanaa from two sides".
"The continuation of fierce battles will force the Houthis to opt for peace, which most Yemenis desire, or face an unknown fate and the possibility of returning to their caves in Saada," he told Al-Mashareq.
"The Houthis' attack on the al-Istiqbal military training camp mosque in Marib Saturday evening has motivated the army to achieve victories on the Nahm front," he said.
"It was the Houthis who ignited the Nahm front... with the aim of capturing Marib city," he said, noting that they took advantage of disputes within the legitimate government and the imminent implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
The Houthis will suffer as a result of the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement "because it will direct efforts towards the liberation of areas that are still under the militia's control", Ahmed said.