Yemeni Vice President: Victory is just around the corner for Sanaa

Yemeni Vice President General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (C) shakes hands with army officers as he visits military barracks in the eastern city of Marib on August 15, 2016. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 25 June 2018

Yemeni Vice President: Victory is just around the corner for Sanaa

  • Mohsen reiterated that the Yemeni government led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Arab coalition are determined to restore legitimacy and establish lasting peace
  • Meanwhile President Hadi had a meeting with senior officials in Hodeidah to discuss the situation there

Yemen’s Vice President, Lieutenant-General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar said the capital Sanaa will be “cleansed of the Houthi militias,” Saudi state TV Al-Ekhbariya reported on Monday.

The vice president’s statement came during a meeting with senior Yemeni army officials in Marib that was attended by the commander of the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces.

During the meeting, Al-Ahmar claimed that “victory was just around the corner” and that Sanaa would return to its Yemeni identity, stressing the need to "redouble efforts," "intensify training and rehabilitation" and "complete military tasks and plans."

Mohsen reiterated that the Yemeni government led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Arab coalition were determined to restore the legitimate government and establish lasting peace.

‘Imminent liberation’

Meanwhile Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi had a meeting with senior officials and security leaders in Hodeidah on Sunday to discuss the situation there. The president discussed plans to arrange for humanitarian and relief aid to be delivered, along with preparations for a decisive solution in the battle to liberate the port city.

Hadi said the liberation of Hodeidah was imminent and that the Iran-backed Houthi militia would soon be defeated.

Hadi also stressed the importance of increased efforts by the leadership of the province and managers of basic services for the people.

He called on ministers to provide the necessary support for the people of the province in terms of logistics, relief, health and other fields.

Efforts are being made to provide relief and shelter for all areas of the west coast with the support of the KSRelief, the UAE and international organizations. Two planes loaded with relief supplies from KSRelief are expected to arrive with various supplies.

The Minister of Health, Nasser Baoum, said that 50 hospital beds were transferred to a field hospital in the west coast and a number of ambulances with their crews, in addition to medical supplies provided from China and India.

Minister of Water and the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor discussed a number of measures to ensure the continuity and provision of basic water and tents services.


Revealed: How Iran smuggles weapons to the Houthis

Updated 01 October 2020

Revealed: How Iran smuggles weapons to the Houthis

  • Captured gang tells of route to Yemen through base in Somalia

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: A captured gang of arms smugglers has revealed how Iran supplies weapons to Houthi militias in Yemen through a base in Somalia.

The Houthis exploit poverty in Yemen to recruit fishermen as weapons smugglers, and send fighters to Iran for military training under cover of “humanitarian” flights from Yemen to Oman, the gang said.

The four smugglers have been interrogated since May, when they were arrested with a cache of weapons in Bab Al-Mandab, the strategic strait joining the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

In video footage broadcast on Yemeni TV, gang leader Alwan Fotaini, a fisherman from Hodeidah, admits he was recruited by the Houthis in 2015. His recruiter, a smuggler called Ahmed Halas, told him he and other fishermen would be based in the Somali coastal city of Berbera, from where they would transport weapons and fuel to the Houthis. 

In late 2015, Fotaini traveled to Sanaa and met a Houthi smuggler called Ibrahim Hassam Halwan, known as Abu Khalel, who would be his contact in Iran. 

This is a complex network that requires constant monitoring, hence the focus on maritime security.

Dr. Theodore Karasik, Security analyst

Pretending to be relatives of wounded fighters, Fotaini, Abu Khalel, and another smuggler called Najeeb Suleiman boarded a humanitarian flight to Oman, and then flew to Iran. They were taken to the port city of Bandar Abbas, where they received training on using GPS, camouflage, steering vessels and maintaining engines.

“We stayed in Bandar Abbas for a month as they were preparing an arms shipment that we would be transporting to Yemen,” Fotaini said.

On Fotaini’s first smuggling mission, his job was to act as a decoy for another boat carrying Iranian weapons to the Houthis. “The plan was for us to call the other boat to change course if anyone intercepted our boat,” he said.

He was then sent to Mahra in Yemen to await new arms shipments. The Houthis sent him data for a location at sea, where he and other smugglers met Abu Khalel with a boat laden with weapons from Iran, which were delivered to the Houthis.

Security analyst Dr. Theodore Karasik said long-standing trade ties between Yemen and Somalia made arms smuggling difficult to stop. “This is a complex network that requires constant monitoring, hence the focus on maritime security,” Karasik, a senior adviser to Gulf State Analytics in Washington, DC, told Arab News.

“The smuggling routes are along traditional lines of communication that intermix with other maritime commerce. The temptation to look the other way is sometimes strong, so sharp attention is required to break these chains.”