The Joint National Resistance Forces have seized control of two key roads near the western port city of Hodeidah from the grip of the Houthi rebels, military sources said.
According to the head of Al-Amaleqah forces Abdulrahman Saleh Abou Zaraa, the forces of Al-Amaleqah military brigades have taken control of the Kilo 16 area, cutting off the Houthis militia’s main supply route, linking the port city of Hodeidah to the Houthi militia-held capital of Sanaa.
The Resistance forces as well captured a second supply route around Hodeidah, known as Kilo 10, AFP news agency reported.
The Saudi-Emirati-led military coalition resumed air strikes on Wednesday in support of Yemeni-allied forces seeking to capture the Red Sea port city from the rebels, residents said.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmonds, reporting from neighbouring Djibouti, said fighting was ongoing around Kilo 16 with the “Houthis shelling the area in a counter-attack measure”.
“There are no reports of any casualties but you would bet they would be high with this intensity of the bombardment,” he said.
Fighting near Hodeidah – the main gateway for imports of relief supplies and commercial goods into the country – has escalated since June 13 after the Saudi-UAE alliance launched a wide-ranging operation to retake the strategic seaport.
The offensive is being carried out by a disparate collective of forces including the National Resistance, a group of fighters loyal to Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Tihama Resistance, a group of fighters loyal to Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and the Giant Brigades, a military unit backed by the United Arab Emirates.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi see Hodeidah port as the main entry point of weapons for the Houthis and have accused their regional rival Iran of sending missiles to the rebels, a charge Tehran has denied.