February 19, 2020

THERE IS NO YEMEN:

How Houthi forces won key Yemeni district (Ammar al-Ashwal, February 19, 2020, Al Monitor)

The operation succeeded Jan. 26 after less than a week, taking over nearly 2,000 square kilometers (1,243 square miles) mostly consisting of mountains and rugged terrain. This means that any force's attempt to return to the land will require time, effort, money and sacrifice.

Because of Nahm's strategic and geographic importance, the Houthis have fought several fierce battles for the area over five years against the forces of the UN-backed government of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Despite intermittent calm, the battles kept reigniting, with neither side able to impose full control.

By capturing Nahm, the eastern gateway to Sanaa, the forces of the Houthi National Salvation Government secured all paths leading to the capital. During this recent battle, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, described Nahm on Twitter as "the most important front in the Sanaa governate."

Iran-backed Houthi militias already controlled the capital.

With the fall of the Nahm front, stretching more than 35 kilometers (21 miles), the Houthis warded off a major threat they have faced since the war began in March 2015.

Moreover, the Houthis -- officially known as Ansar Allah -- now control the chain of highlands overlooking the provinces of al-Jawf and Marib, most notably a strategic rim of the Yam Mountains and the camp of Hadi's 312th Armored Brigade. This position gives them an advantage in monitoring and controlling fire lines along these areas.

Posted by at February 19, 2020 9:58 AM

  

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