On Saturday (3 July), the Yemeni army and allied tribesmen launched a new offensive in Al-Bayda governorate to recapture the area from the Houthis. Several state and local media outlets showed footage of armed vehicles rolling into the governorate for the first time since the war started. Reports suggest the Yemeni government succeeded in capturing some villages.
Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar al-Iryani said that government troops advanced mainly in the Humaiqan area in Al-Zaher district, west of Al-Bayda, adding that the army has cut off supply lines to pockets of Houthis in Al-Zaher, Al-Jamajem and Al-Nasefa and government forces were still fighting their way into new areas.
Analysts and Yemeni officials said that if advances continue on the same, scale, the government would be able to liberate Al-Bayda city, the governorate's capital.
The battle in Al-Bayda is important for several reasons. First, it is first major military development since 2015, which the Houthis did not clearly anticipate. Second, the battle could open new fronts in Thamar and Ibb governorates, which are closer to Sanaa and thereby shift the currently stalled frontlines.
On Sunday (04 July) the Houthis launched a ballistic missile into the southern governorate of Abyan which killed at least two soldiers and wounded more. It is very rare of the Houthis to launch ballistic missiles to the south of Yemen and observers believe it could be a retaliation to the offensive in Al-Bayda.