Yemen’s pro-Ansarullah popular committees took over full responsibility of a coastal military base overlooking the strategic Red Sea Bab al-Mandeb strait from the 17th Brigade which is tasked with guarding the strait by the defense ministry.
Yemeni sources said the 17th Brigade whose forces are loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh opened the gates to the base n Yemen’s southwestern Taiz province for the popular committees late on Tuesday night.
Popular committees deployed in several points across the military base, as they managed to enter arms depots there, the sources said.
Bab al-Mandeb is considered a strategic port as more than 3.4 million barrels of oil reportedly pass through the strait every day.
Yemen has been since last week subjected to a military offensive by Saudi-led coalition warplanes that are bombing several areas across the country, killing and injuring dozens of civilians.
The attack is aimed at protecting the Saud-backed former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, whose mandate had ended after he offered his resignation and then took it back.
Ansarullah popular committees, who are also known as Houthis, had forced al-Qaeda-linked militants out of Sanaa last September. They called then for dialogue between the different factions in Yemen. However Hadi insisted to offer his resignation.
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, denounced earlier on Friday the aggression against Yemen, stressing that the Saudi Arabia’s real intention behind the attack is to regain dominance on Yemen. Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah called for the halt of the attack, assuring that the current crisis in the country should be solved politically.