Se­nior com­man­der among more than 20 Houthi rebels killed in Ye­men

The National - News - - NEWS - ALI MAH­MOOD

More than 20 Houthi rebels, in­clud­ing a se­nior com­man­der, were killed in clashes with the Ye­meni army in Al Bayda prov­ince, bor­der­ing Sanaa gov­er­norate.

The com­man­der of the Houthi mili­tia in Al Bayda, known as Abu Hashim, was one of the men killed on Fri­day, said Mah­mood Al Hu­maidi, who lives in Al Bayda.

Mr Al Hu­maidi said that the Ye­meni army took con­trol of Na­man and Al Mala­hem dis­tricts, and that the forces loyal to Ye­men’s pres­i­dent Ab­drabu Mansur Hadi moved far­ther into the prov­ince to Natea.

“There were fierce clashes in the last pocket con­tain­ing the rebels in Natea dis­trict and the army was able to ad­vance and gain ground,” he said.

“At least 20 rebels were killed and dozens were in­jured.”

The gov­ern­ment re­ported that 50 Houthi mili­ti­a­men were cap­tured in Natea be­fore the army ad­vanced to Walad Ra­bie dis­trict, where nine rebels were killed. Fierce clashes also took place in Thamar prov­ince, about 130 kilo­me­tres south of Sanaa.

The Houthi rebels fought with tribes in the Al Hada area.

Ye­meni army fight­ers and the tribes, who back the in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised gov­ern­ment of Mr Hadi, have mo­bilised to lead an “in­tifada” against the rebels in the prov­ince, which is con­sid­ered to be the Houthis’ strong­hold.

In Taez prov­ince, at least four Houthis were killed as the Ye­meni army ad­vanced into Mak­bana dis­trict, a lo­cal source said.

Mean­while, the Ye­meni gov­ern­ment has called on the United Na­tions to re­place its hu­man­i­tar­ian staff in the coun­try, ac­cus­ing it of bias to­wards the rebels.

The min­istry of for­eign af­fairs said state­ments by the UN en­voy to Ye­men, Jamie McGoldrick, ig­nored the crimes be­ing com­mit­ted by the Houthis against civil­ians.

Osama Al Sharmi, an of­fi­cial at the Ye­meni min­istry of in­for­ma­tion, said that the gov-

ern­ment was very up­set by the en­voy’s words.

“It is not the first time that the UN of­fi­cial has made such bi­ased state­ments, which are mis­lead­ing the in­ter­na­tional opin­ion and pro­vide a big sup­port for the coup mili­tia,” Mr Al Sharmi said.

He said the UN hu­man­i­tar­ian of­fice should have com­mu­ni­cated with the hu­man­i­tar­ian unit of the coali­tion forces to ver­ify its in­for­ma­tion, rather than ob­tain­ing it from the news web­sites af­fil­i­ated with the coup mili­tia.

EPA

A Ye­meni loy­al­ist dur­ing an of­fen­sive east of Sanaa

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