Saudi-backed Yemeni president orders armed forces to begin anti-Houthi offensive

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-04 19:30:31|Editor: liuxin
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ADEN, Yemen, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's internationally-backed President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi based in Saudi Arabia ordered Monday the national armed forces to begin launching an all-out military campaign against the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-funded Arabiya channel reported that "Yemen's President gave orders to the army commanders to launch an anti-Houthi military campaign identified as the Operation: Arabian Sanaa."

A government source confirmed to Xinhua that the well-armed troops of Hadi will begin marching in the next hours towards Sanaa to support the anti-Houthi uprising in the city and to liberate the neighboring provinces.

Media outlets close to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government also revealed a statement saying that "Hadi conducted a phone call with his deputy and gave him instructions to immediately send military reinforcements to several fronts in and around Sanaa, especially Kholan front, to knock down the Houthis."

The pro-government media said also that commanders of the pro-Hadi forces positioned in Nihm area near Sanaa "started to open new frontlines and prepare to enter the city and support anti-Houthi forces in Sanaa neighborhoods."

Meanwhile, residents told Xinhua that the Houthi fighters managed to take control over the buildings used by relatives of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa.

The Houthi fighters then blew up the house of Saleh in Kumaim neighborhood amid conflicting reports about the demise of the former Yemeni president.

A source close to Saleh confirmed to Xinhua that "the Houthi gunmen are desperately attempting to assassinate Saleh but he is still alive until this moment."

At the same time, the Houthis' spokesperson declares victory over Saleh forces and assures Yemenis that the "traitors have been defeated. Only a few pockets of resistance are left he claims."

Earlier in the day, Yemen's Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr declared that President Hadi will issue a general pardon to all those who participated with the Houthis and then cut their ties.

The ongoing street fightings between two former allies in Yemen, the Houthis and former president Saleh, are set to aggravate the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

The two sides allied and seized power in late 2014, triggering a civil war and a military intervention by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

Around 23 million out of 27 million Yemeni population now live in the Houthi-run northern regions. Many fear that the fighting result in massive civilian casualties in Sanaa.

The war-torn nation, which is also plagued by a severe cholera epidemic, is now coping with the world's largest humanitarian catastrophe as more than two thirds of the population need humanitarian assistance.