The Al Jawf offensive began in February 2020 with clashes in the Al Jawf Governorate and reached a decisive phase with the capture of the town of Al Hazm by the Houthi movement on 1 March 2020 from the Hadi government, during the Second Yemeni Civil War.
After weeks of clashes, Houthi fighters stormed the city of Al Hazm, the capital of Al Jawf province, from different directions on 1 March 2020. A Hadi Government official told Xinhua News Agency that the Hadi forces had failed to repulse the Houthi fighters storming Al Hazm from the western and northwestern sides. The Houthi forces were deployed in different parts of the city whilst all pro-Hadi government military withdrew to Ma'rib city. The fighting left dozens of soldiers killed.
The Houthi movement spokesperson said that the group controlled most of the Al Jawf District with the exception of some areas close to Saudi Arabia; the areas captured by the group comprised the Khub wal Shaaf and Yatma districts. The Houthi forces then turned the offensive on the Ma'rib Governorate with the aim of attacking Ma'rib city.
On 18 March, local sources reported that the Houthi forces had expelled the Saudi-backed forces from the Atias mountain, a base at the Kufil mountain, and the Ghabira mountain, with reported clashes taking place near Talaat al-Hamra.
On 28 March, according to the Houthi media wing, Houthi fighters seized the Kofal Camp. Two days later, local sources informed that Houthi fighters captured the military base of Labnah in Labnah mountains from Saudi led coalition forces. the capture of the military base allowed the Houthi forces to arm their aligned Popular Committees, the aim of the offensive was to encircle the al-Islah stronghold in oil-rich Ma'rib Province. Ongoing battles were reported in the Kofal Camp.
On 4 April, Yemeni government forces issued a statement saying that government forces supported by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes launched an attack on the Houthi militants in the Sirwah District, Ma'rib Governorate. According to Hadi Government forces, the fighting claimed 25 Houthi militants killed and several vehicles were destroyed. On the same day, pro-Houthi media reported that the clashes resulted in the death of a senior commander and several soldiers of the government forces. According to Houthi media 80 Pro Hadi government forces were killed and wounded. The 310th Brigade Commander Gen Mohamed Kamil al-Thaifani; the Chief of operations Gen Hameed al-Maswari and the 72nd Brigade's commander Gen Khalid al-Joma'ei were confirmed dead in the fighting. On 8 April, the Saudi-led coalition announced a two-week ceasefire, in part to avoid repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Saudi vice defence minister Prince Khalid bin Salman tweeted that Saudi Arabia would contribute $500 million to the U.N. humanitarian response plan for Yemen in 2020 and another $25 million to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
On 10 April, Houthis announced the capture of the military base of Khanjar from Saudi led coalition Forces after several attacks.
On 21 April, Houthi fighters captured the al-Jufra base from Saudi led coalition forces. Later Houthi forces concentrated their forces attacking the Mass military base and Wadi Mass. The same day Houthi media displayed a 15 min video of the capture of an AQAP base in the Khasaf region in Al-Jawf. The footage showed a prison, explosive belts, ammunition and Al-Qaeda operational documents.
By 28 April, Houthi forces said that they managed to capture eleven of the twelve districts and 95% of the Al-Jawf province with only the eastern district of Khab and al-Shaaf still being in Saudi-led coalition control. They controlled all of North Yemen except for Marib Governorate.
The capture of Al Hazm was considered by the head of the Sanaa Centre think tank as a "game-changer" for the Houthis, and could totally change the "course of the war". The United Nations Ambassador to Yemen Martin Griffiths labeled the offensive as the "most alarming military escalation" in the war.
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