Al-Houthi followers adopt guerrilla war [Archives:2004/767/Front Page]

August 26 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
The crisis between the government and Sheikh Hussein Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi has been accelerating and increasing in terms of the scale of human and property losses. The War, however, has taken on a new appearance, as Al-Houthi's followers have begun to conduct guerrilla raids and have adopted war of attrition techniques. Such tactics were apparently not anticipated by military commanders, who declared the end of military operations three weeks ago, and said Al-Houthi's insurgency was dying.
Sources reported that during the past two days the clashes between the military forces, (consisting of regiments from different army divisions), and Al-Houthi's followers, resulted in the deaths of 30 people, 11 of whom were troops and including a colonel who was killed in an ambush.
The circle of military clashes has widened, reaching the Al-Buq'a area close to the Yemeni-Saudi border. 10 kilometers off Maran, fighting is still intensive in the areas of Al-Ruzamat, Al-Hamazat, Nashoor, Shafi'ah, and Hamdan bin Zaid.
Al-Tajamou Weekly mentioned in its August 23rd issue that some 47 corpses and 39 wounded troops had arrived on August 22nd in Sana'a.
Al-Wahdawi Weekly, for its part, said in its August 24th issue that 120 corpses were found in the mountains and the fortifications restored by the army, after the attack carried out on Monday August 23rd.
“Al-Houthi's Second-in-Command was killed in the attack along with three other leaders in the latest clashes,” Al-Wahdawi added.
Yet the same newspaper also reported that Al-Houthi's followers had announced regaining the areas earlier declared to be controlled by the army.
“Media means do not have access to information about human and material losses. Yet, hospital corpses reveal the fact, and so does thousands of wounded scrambling into hospitals in Sa'ada, Hajah and Sana'a,” said the newspaper.
Al-Wahdawi quoted Yahya Badr Al-Din, Member of Parliament and brother to Hussein Al-Houthi as saying: “My brother was never the political leader of an organization that violates law.”
“What will the government gain from killing my brother?” he exclaimed.
He added: “Why doesn't our government reflect the example of the Iraqi one? The wise men assembled and offered Moqtada Al-Sadr the chance to participate in the political arena.”
Concerning the news that the President was supporting his brother, he commented: “This is utter untruth.”