Yemeni forces conducted a partial withdrawal from the outskirts of the country’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, a government official said.
“The joint forces that include several anti-Houthi military units began withdrawing from their positions in the southern and eastern areas of the turbulent city of Hodeidah,” the official told Xinhua news agency.
He said that the joint forces withdrew from Al-Saleh and Kilo16 residential neighborhoods in Hodeidah to other new locations in the strategic coastal city.
The partial withdrawal was implemented within the framework of a UN-sponsored agreement to establish a “green” zone in the conflict areas in Hodeidah, he added.
Meanwhile, another military official confirmed to Xinhua that the Commander of Yemeni National Resistance Forces Brigadier General Tariq Saleh, who is the nephew of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, began withdrawing in accordance with a new phase of cooperation and coordination with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) based in Aden.
He added that “leaders of the STC and Tariq’s elite national troops unified their efforts following mutual understandings aimed at carrying out a new military campaign against the rebel militias in Hodeidah’s coastal areas and elsewhere in Yemen”.
Elite military units of Tariq’s forces, known as the Guardians of the Republic, are currently controlling key strategic areas on the western coast of Yemen and sporadically engage in fighting with the Houthi rebels there.
Hodeidah, a vital lifeline for millions facing starvation, has seen a shaky ceasefire between the government and the Houthi group since they reached a UN-sponsored truce in Stockholm in December 2018.
The truce was seen as the first phase toward a nationwide cease-fire to end Yemen’s years-long military conflict, but fighting continued across the impoverished Arab country.
Hodeidah is under the control of the Houthis, while the government forces have advanced to the southern and eastern districts.