A Yemeni military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that Yemeni soldiers and their allies had encircled Ma’rib city, following weeks of fierce clashes with Saudi-led coalition forces and their mercenaries.
The source added that Yemeni forces had cut off the main supply route into the eastern flank of Ma’rib, which leads to the Arab country’s largest province of Hadhramaut.
After gaining complete control over all the heights overlooking the city of Ma’rib from all directions, mopping up operations to clear the last remaining pockets of al-Qaeda elements and mercenaries of the aggressors (Saudi-led coalition) are only a matter of time,” he pointed out.
‘Qaeda-affiliated Salafist Islah Party transferring militants to Ma’rib’
Meanwhile, the governor of Yemen’s southern province of Aden has warned that the al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafist Islah Party is transferring Takfiri militants from southern areas to Ma’rib to join the ranks of Saudi-led coalition forces and Hadi loyalists in battles against Yemeni soldiers and their allies.
“The Islah Party, which is on the verge of collapse in Ma’rib, is brining Takfiri militants from several regions, mostly from southern provinces under the occupation of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), into Ma’rib,” Tariq Salem told Yemen’s official Saba news agency.
He stressed the need to confront the deployment of such terrorists, who are seeking to carry out target killings and criminal schemes in Ma’rib in the face of the anticipated triumph of Yemeni armed forces and their allies.
“What people in the southern [Yemeni] provinces are enduring is the result of continued [Saudi-UAE] occupation and the influx of Takfiri militants. It is highly worth taking into consideration that no Yemeni citizen, either in Ma’rib or elsewhere in the country, must subject their families, their properties as well as public interests to danger,” Salem pointed out.
Pro-Hadi battalion defects to Yemeni army: Reports
Furthermore, Yemeni media reports say an entire battalion loyal to former Riyadh-backed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has defected to the Yemeni army and allied fighters from Popular Committees.