Houthi commanders killed during Arab coalition airstrike in north Yemen

Houthi commanders killed during Arab coalition airstrike in north Yemen
In this Feb. 20, 2020 file photo, Houthi rebel fighters display their weapons during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters for the Iranian-backed Houthi movement, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
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Updated 24 August 2020

Houthi commanders killed during Arab coalition airstrike in north Yemen

Houthi commanders killed during Arab coalition airstrike in north Yemen
  • Army troops, allied tribesmen, backed by coalition airpower attack Iran-backed militias in different locations

AL-MUKALLA: Several high-ranking Houthi military commanders were killed and numerous others injured when Arab coalition forces bombed a convoy in northern Yemen, military officials said on Monday.

Rabia Al-Qurashi, Yemeni army spokesman in Jouf province, told Arab News that militia chiefs, including Houthi minister of defense Mohammed Al-Atefi, were visiting Al-Khanjer military camp in Khab and Al-Sha’af district on Saturday when coalition warplanes struck, leaving a number of commanders dead, dozens wounded, and six vehicles destroyed.

“The fate of Houthi minister of defense is unknown. But the warplanes caused carnage among Houthi fighters,” Al-Qurashi said.

Houthi official media on Monday mourned the death of Gen. Azi Salah Mutleq Dahwa, a senior officer at the 6th Military Region, and Gen. Ruhallah Zaid Ali Musleh, a Houthi military ideologue and the son of a founding member of the Houthi movement.

Al-Qurashi said that the two commanders were killed in Jouf on Saturday and the Houthis had delayed mourning them in order to avoid undermining their fighters’ morale, predicting that the group would announce the death of other senior commanders in the coming days.

Hundreds of Houthis have been killed since early last week in fierce clashes with government forces and as a result of Saudi-led airstrikes in the provinces of Jouf, Marib, and Al-Bayda.

Despite denying suffering heavy losses, the Iran-backed Houthis have recently buried dozens of their fighters in different areas under their control in northern Yemen.

Also, in Jouf province, army troops and allied tribesmen, backed by coalition airpower, attacked Houthis in different locations east of Hazem, the capital of Jouf province.

Al-Qurashi added that loyalists liberated several areas in Al-Sabagh after killing and wounding a large number of Houthis. Local commanders said the aim of the current ground assault on the edges of Hazem was to pile military pressure on Houthis who had seized control of the strategic town.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s prime minister designate, Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, said that all Yemeni parties had constructively engaged in continuing discussions toward the formation of a new government under the terms of the Riyadh Agreement.

According to the official Saba news agency, Saeed briefed lawmakers in Riyadh about progress on announcing a new government, stressing that the talks were also targeted at lobbying all Yemeni parties behind quick implementation of the Riyadh Agreement and supporting the return of peace and stability to Aden and other Yemeni provinces.

Also, in Riyadh, the premier on Sunday instructed the new governor of Aden, Ahmed Hamid Lamlis, and the city’s chief of security, Ahmed Mohammed Al-Hamedi, to make the revival of state bodies and the restoration of peace their top priorities, pledging his government’s full support to them.

Under the Riyadh Agreement, Aden’s governor and security chief would return to Aden as a military committee began moving military units and heavy weapons from Aden. Within a month, the PM designate will name his government and will also return to Aden.

The agreement defused tensions between the internationally recognized government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council.