If confirmed, the victory would mark another significant gain for the Hadi loyalists after they drove the Houthis from the southern port of Aden in July following months on the defensive.
The recapture of the al-Anad base also opens up the road north to the city of Taiz, where Iranian-allied Houthi militias have been locked in combat with local fighters siding with Hadi. Hadi remains in Saudi Arabia, where he fled in March as the Houthis closed in on his refuge in Aden.

The Houthis had broken out of their northern strongholds and seized control of the capital Sanaa in September, plunging Yemen into another bout of conflict.

"The national army and the popular resistance have completed control of the al-Anad military and air base," the operation commander, Brigadier-General Fadel Hassan, told reporters.

He said dozens of Houthis were killed or captured during hours of clashes, while hundreds have fled. His forces were combing the base, which covers an area of 40 square km (15 square miles) for any Houthis who may have remained behind.

Hassan stated his force would march on to complete the 'liberation' of the provinces of Lahej and Abyan. There was no word from the Houthis on the outcome of the battle. The Houthi-run news agency stated earlier that Saudi-led air raids had repeatedly struck the military base.

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