Yemen rebels lose key battleground area after missile attack on UAE
January 25 2022 11:21 PM
Yemeni pro-government fighters gather in the back of a pick up truck near the district of Harib, yesterday after Houthi rebels were expelled from the key battleground district by Giants Brigade fighters.


Yemen’s Houthi rebels were expelled from a key battleground district by UAE-trained Giants Brigade fighters, the militia said yesterday, a day after the insurgents’ latest missile attack on Abu Dhabi.
The Houthis lost Harib district south of Marib, the government’s last northern stronghold which they have been fighting to seize for months.
The Giants Brigade said “hundreds were killed and wounded on both sides” in battles that lasted for more than two weeks and also secured the neighbouring governorate of Shabwa.
There was no immediate comment from the Houthis.
“We thank the Arab coalition for their support for our operations in Shabwa, which were crowned with complete success,” the Giants Brigade said in a statement, referring to a military alliance. The clashes are part of a major escalation in the seven-year war after the Houthis, following a series of territorial defeats, launched a deadly drone-and-missile attack on the UAE last week.
The pro-government coalition that includes the UAE hit back with a series of air strikes, one of which killed at least three children and plunged Yemen into a four-day Internet outage.
Internet services were restored early yesterday, a web monitor and AFP correspondents said.
In rebel-held Saada last Friday, an attack on a prison left at least 70 people dead and wounded more than 100, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The coalition denied being behind the prison attack, which the Houthis said had killed 91 people and injured more than 200, as they lined up the bodies covered in white sheets along the ground yesterday.
On Monday, the rebels renewed their attack on Abu Dhabi when two ballistic missiles were intercepted over the city, scattering debris.
US forces based at the capital’s Al-Dhafra air base fired Patriot missiles to help repel the attack, while some of them also scrambled to bunkers, US officials said.
The UAE, which pulled most of its troops out of Yemen in 2019 but maintains support and training for pro-government forces, warned of a “thorough and comprehensive response” to the cross-border attack.
“The UAE reserves the right to respond against these terrorist attacks and such blatant criminal escalation,” a foreign ministry statement said, adding that the Houthis had targeted “civilian areas”.
Two people were injured in southern Saudi Arabia by further rebel missile attacks on Monday. US State Department spokesman Ned Price called the Houthi attacks and coalition air strikes “a troubling escalation”. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also met with the UAE and Saudi ambassadors to Washington to “discuss ongoing Houthi attacks against civilian targets that have resulted in civilian casualties in both countries”, the White House said Monday.

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