Forces battling Houthi fighters in Yemen say they have captured the country’s largest military base following intense clashes which left dozens killed. In a statement on Monday, the government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi claimed complete control of al-Anad base in Lahej province in the country’s south. Aljazeera was there:
“With the help and back-up of the Arab-led coalition, this achievement was possible,” the statement said. Troops were also supported by Popular Resistance Committees who have sided with the government in the fight against the Houthis.
The Houthis’ loss of the base deals a significant blow to the Iran-allied Shia group, which has seized large parts of the country but recently lost control of the southern port city of Aden. Nasser Hadour, an officer in the Popular Resistance Committees, told Al Jazeera that forces were also able to enter another military base between al-Sader and al-Madina al-Khadra in Lahej province.
Reporting from this base, Al Jazeera’s Yasser Hasan said it was clear that the base was completely under the control of Popular Resistance Committees forces. “We can see al-Anad from here too,” he said, describing it as “a very strategic airbase”.