Saudi Tanks Enter Yemen As War Drags On

Yemeni activists add finishing touches to anti-Saudi-led military offensive graffiti on the wall of the Saudi embassy in Sanaía, Yemen,

ADEN (AFP) – Saudi Arabia has sent new military equipment including tanks into Yemen to support rebels fighting Iran-allied fighters of Ansarullah movement also called Houthis, military sources said.

“Dozens of tanks, armoured vehicles and personnel carriers, as well as hundreds of soldiers trained in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Yemen overnight” via the Wadia border post in the north of the country, AFP reported.

“These military reinforcements came from Saudi Arabia’s Sharura region and are intended for the popular resistance,” another military source said, referring to forces loyal to Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, currently in exile in Riyadh.

Since March 26, a Saudi-led military coalition has supported the rebels with air strikes to stop the advance of the fighters, who last year took over the capital Sanaa and pressed south into second city Aden earlier this year.

AFP said the reinforcements were headed towards the provinces of Marib, east of Sanaa, and Shabwa, to the southeast, “to expel the Huthis and their allies” from these two provinces, where heavy fighting has been ongoing.

Rebels continue to gain ground in the south of the country after taking Aden last month and seizing the country’s largest airbase of Al-Anad to its north on Tuesday.

This turnaround in the fighting coincided with the appearance on the battleground of modern military equipment that, according to military sources, the Saudi-led coalition had provided to rebels.

A military source on Monday reported the presence of “hundreds of soldiers from Gulf countries” that were members of the coalition in Aden, where they landed with “dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles” to “secure the city”.

The war in Yemen has killed nearly 4,000 people, half of them civilians, while 80 percent of the 21 million population needs aid and protection, the UN says.

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