Jan 26, 2020 12:06 UTC
  • Ansarullah fighters gain ground in Sana'a, pro-Saudi militants claim tactical withdrawal

Fighters from Yemen's Ansarullah movement, which have been defending Yemen against a Saudi aggression, have managed to gain ground against Riyadh-sponsored militants in Sana'a Province.

Commanders loyal to former Saudi-backed President Mansur Hadi acknowledged on Saturday that the Ansarullah had retaken loyalist positions during renewed fighting east of Sana'a.

"Some of these positions had been under government control for three years," said one of the commanders who was speaking on condition of anonymity, referring to the self-proclaimed Hadi administration.

Another pro-Hadi commander said that the Saudi planes had "attacked Ansarullah positions more than 30 times in the last three days to reduce the pressure on the loyalists."

On Friday, the International Crisis Group, a Belgium-based think tank, said the Anasrullah fighters were making "the biggest gains" on the ground against militants.

"At the time of writing, the Ansarullah appeared to be making the biggest gains on the battlefield, reportedly controlling the important Nihm front north east of Sana'a after several days in which both sides claimed a series of largely symbolic victories while suffering numerous casualties," it said in a report.

Self-proclaimed defense minister for Hadi fighters, general Mohammed Ali al-Maqdishi, implicitly admitted Anasrullah advances in Nihm district.

At a meeting with loyalist commanders, he referred to what he called a "tactical withdrawal from some positions," Saba news agency reported.

Maqdishi also claimed that the pro-Hadi militants would be redeployed to open a new front against the Anasrullah.

Recently, a missile attack on a military training camp run by the Riyadh-backed elements in Ma'rib Province killed 116 of them.