As Peace Talks Start, Houthi Militia Fighters Escalate Military Operations

The Joint National Resistance Forces have accused Houthi militia fighters of military escalation, confirming that its forces thwarted a number of attacks staged by the group in Nihm district located 40 km east of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

At least 60 Houthi fighters were killed in another aborted infiltration attempt against national army posts in Hodeidah governorate, the army said. The Iran-backed group’s moves, according to military officials, aim at undermining UN-sponsored peace consultations in Sweden.

Yemeni Vice President General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, for his part, reiterated the government’s keenness on promoting a peace settlement for the war-torn country and supporting a positive environment needed to make the current talks a success.

Ahmar made his remarks at a meeting with high-ranking army officials in Marib on Wednesday.

Official news agency Saba reported Ahmar having discussed with senior army servicemen ongoing field developments and Houthis stepping up aggression and arbitrary rocket attacks against civilian populations.

After attending a military briefing, Ahmar said that Houthi fighters have actively increased assaults across many battlefronts, especially against Marib.

Houthis also attacked national army posts in a poorly executed attempt to regain lost positions on multiple fronts, in eastern Sanaa, the West Coast and the central Al Bayda governorate.

“The escalation carried out by the Houthi militia is unjustified and does not imply good intentions for peace,” said Yemeni Army Spokesman Brigadier General Abdu Majali.

“Houthis attacked army positions in the Nhim district, east of the capital Sanaa, ahead of the arrival of delegations to peace talks in the Swedish capital Stockholm,” Majali said while stressing militias repeatedly “fired missiles and targeted civilian areas.”

Majali, however, said that national army forces will respond strongly to atrocities committed by the Iran-aligned insurgents.

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