AL-MUKALLA: Security forces in Yemen’s Lahj province on Sunday intercepted a shipment of drone components headed for the Houthis, the latest in a series of similar interceptions of weapons and explosives bound for Houthi-controlled areas.
The Giants Brigade’s 2nd Brigade in Lahj halted a van transporting sealed boxes from Aden, and after opening the boxes, soldiers discovered motors, batteries, cameras, and other drone parts, and the shipment was buried within toys and covered with motorcycles.
Despite scrutiny at Aden port or other government-controlled entrance points, many local officials and journalists believe the Houthis were able to transport weapons into Yemen through government-controlled areas.
“The event (in Lahj) demonstrates that the Houthi militia is still preparing for war rather than peace,” Fatehi bin Lazerq, editor of Aden Al-Ghad newspaper, told Arab News, adding that if multiple military and security forces cooperate, the shipment would not have had to travel through dozens of checkpoints in government-controlled areas.
“If we presume that the shipment left the port of Aden or another province, it must have passed through dozens of security checkpoints. As a result, it throws light on the fact that the Houthi(s are) still transporting … weaponry through legitimate government channels, owing to a lack of cooperation among security services.”
It comes as security officials at Yemen’s Shehin Border Crossing with Oman revealed the seizure of 355 kg of potassium permanganate, an ingredient that can be used in the manufacturing of cocaine, which was hidden among cargo on two vehicles bound for Houthi-controlled Sanaa.
During the past eight years, many supplies of weapons or drugs meant for the Houthis have been intercepted in government-controlled areas such as Marib, Hadramout and Mahra.
Separately, human rights groups have called for an impartial investigation into a prisoner’s death within a Houthi-run jail in the province of Ibb, accusing the Houthis of deliberately neglecting captives until they died.
Yemenis say that Faisal Al-Sabri, a prisoner in Ibb City’s Central Prison, was transferred to a city hospital after suffering a stroke and was left handcuffed in the hospital’s corridor due to a “lack of empty beds.”
The Houthis later returned him to the prison, where he died.
Yemeni activists shared a photo of a handcuffed man wearing a blue prison uniform with an intravenous drip in his arm and lying on the ground, in what appeared to be the hospital in Ibb.
Human rights group Rights Radar said in a statement: “Rights Radar demands a probe into the circumstances behind the death of prisoner Faisal Al-Sabri, who died at the Central Prison in Ibb Governorate, central Yemen, just days after suffering a stroke and not receiving the proper treatment.”
Dozens of former detainees in Houthi jails have died soon after their release from illnesses contracted while in prison.
Many more Yemenis have perished in Houthi detention centers, either as a consequence of torture or because the Houthis denied them life-saving medicine.