Most of south Yemen belongs to the government again

Loyalist forces in Yemen, with the help of their Saudi-coalition backers, have reportedly taken the last Houthi-controlled town in Yemen’s southern Abyan Governate. Added to the coalition’s victories earlier this month in Aden and neighboring Lahij Governate and Al-Daliʿ Governate, and all of a sudden President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s forces have control over most of south Yemen. They will probably target Ibb Governate to the north next, and then push toward the important city of Taiz in the west, and at that point you might expect to see Hadi and his ministers triumphantly returning to the country via Aden. If this offensive is successful, it will really start to box the Houthi-Saleh forces into northwestern Yemen, where pockets of pro-Hadi resistance are already starting to engage Houthi forces in combat.

Map of Yemen’s governates (Wikimedia)

Of course, the further back the Houthis get pushed into their traditional highland base north of Sanaa, the easier it will be in some sense for them to draw out the civil war. Meanwhile, at the risk of beating a dead horse, Yemenis are suffering a total humanitarian catastrophe and desperately need the fighting to stop in favor of a negotiated settlement to the conflict.

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