Pro-Hadi fighters, Huthis recapture Yemen’s largest military base

Fighters loyal to Yemen’s exiled president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, bolstered by Gulf Arab support, seized the country’s largest military base from Huthi forces on Monday after heavy combat in which dozens were killed or captured, a pro-Hadi commander said.


If confirmed, the victory would mark another significant gain for the Hadi loyalists after they drove the Huthis from the southern port of Aden in July following months on the defensive.


The recapture of the al-Anad base also opens up the road north to the city of Taiz, where Iranian-allied Huthi militias have been locked in combat with local fighters siding with Hadi.


Hadi remains in Saudi Arabia, where he fled in March as the Huthis closed in on his refuge in Aden. The Huthis had broken out of their northern strongholds and seized control of the capital Sanaa in September, plunging Yemen into another bout of conflict.


“The national army and the popular resistance have completed control of the al-Anad military and air base,” the operation commander, Brigadier-General Fadel Hassan, told Reuters by telephone.


He said dozens of Huthis were killed or captured during hours of clashes, while hundreds have fled. His forces were combing the base, which covers an area of 40 square km (15 square miles) for any Huthis who may have remained behind.


He said his force would march on to complete the “liberation” of the provinces of Lahej and Abyan.


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