AL-MUKALLA: A Yemeni government soldier was killed and several others were injured in a Houthi drone attack in the northern province of Saada on Saturday, the second such incident in a week.
Hadi Tarshan, governor of Saada, told Arab News that the Houthis launched a barrage of explosive-laden drones at a military parade held by Yemeni government forces in Baqoum district to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the Sept. 26 Revolution.
The army shot down several of the drones but one hit its target, killing a soldier and wounding others.
“We, the residents of Saada, have known the Houthis since 2004, and we know that they will not honor any deal or truce unless they are weak. What happened today demonstrates this,” Tarshan said.
The incident comes a week after four Bahraini soldiers were killed in a Houthi drone attack on a group of Arab coalition soldiers near the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border.
Despite a significant reduction in hostilities since a UN-brokered ceasefire went into effect in April last year, the Houthis have continued to launch ground attacks and fired drones and missiles at government-controlled areas and military locations in Taiz, Marib, Dhale, Lahi and other provinces.
Yemeni political and military observers said the increase in hostilities was intended to send a message to Houthi supporters who are under pressure to pay public employees and Saudi Arabia.
Military analyst Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Kumaim told Arab News that by targeting government troops and Arab coalition forces, the Houthis sought to reassure their supporters of their strength and exert pressure on the Kingdom to accept their peace demands.
“The intent was to send a message to the inside (Yemen) to boost their followers’ morale and divert attention away from what was happening in Sanaa,” he said.
“In addition, they are sending a message to Saudi Arabia to take their requests seriously.”
But even if the Yemeni government or the Kingdom complied with those demands, the Houthis would devise new ones and continue their military operations, he added.
“This is the Houthis we know: they are covenant breakers, deceivers and traitors who will exploit any opportunity to attack others, even during a truce. When their demands are satisfied, they increase them without making any concessions.”
Last week, the Houthis abducted more than 1,000 Yemenis in the cities of Sanaa and Ibb who had gathered on the street to commemorate the anniversary of the revolution, a move that the Houthis viewed as a challenge to their control and ban on public gatherings.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Houthis prevented four Yemeni activists from the rights organization Mwatana from boarding a plane bound for Amman, Jordan.
The organization said the Houthis interrogated the activists, annulled their exit visas and told them to leave the airport, without providing any justification for their actions.
“It is another infringement of Yemeni men’s and women’s right to freedom of movement committed by the Houthi organization,” Rasheed Al-Faqih, the vice president of Mwatana and one of the four activists affected, said on X.
“With its protocols and decrees, the organization has undermined the Republic of Yemen’s effective constitution and all national laws and legislation.”