Sa’ada war still aflame [Archives:2007/1057/Front Page]

June 7 2007

Mohammed bin Sallam
SA'ADA, June 6 ) Tribal and media sources reveal that fierce confrontations continue to flare in most Sa'ada districts between Houthi loyalists and the Yemeni army, with the area of Razih witnessing the fiercest battles this past week.

Further, Houthis waged numerous offensives employing Bazooka and Hawn shells upon Yemeni army forces positioned at the foot of Al-Azd Mountain. In return, the army attacked Houthis positioned in the highlands of Mashraqah area.

The Yemeni army is attempting to seize areas of Razih district in an effort to secure the road leading to the eastern part of the district, as well as take over the road linking Razih with Munbih, Qataber and Baqem districts, the last three districts still being seized by Houthis.

The sources add that government forces won't capture such areas unless they take over Munbih district, entering either from the west or the east, or by entering Baqem through Dhahian in the south, a city the Yemeni army thus far has been unable to seize.

Still held by Houthis, Ghamer district will be the first place to be evacuated if government forces manage to occupy Razih district, whose mountains are comparatively higher than Ghamer's.

Houthis deny government's allegations

In a statement distributed in the middle of this week, Houthis denied allegations by some high-ranking officials who claim that the war has calmed down in most Sa'ada districts, indicating that confrontations are ongoing between them and Yemeni army forces.

Their statement added, “Those areas allegedly completely overcome by the army witnessed intermittent clashes and battles during the week, especially in Al-Saifi, Razih, Sahar, Magz and Ghamer, leaving dozens killed and injured on both sides.”

For more than a week, Yemeni army forces have been attempting to seize Razih district, but they've been met with violent resistance by Houthis, thus preventing them from reaching Al-Qal'ah, the center of Razih district.

Saudi Arabia accused of supporting Yemeni army

Houthis are accusing Saudi Arabia of backing the Yemeni army, as Saudi forces attacked two different Houthi sites, beginning with Najran. In return, youth began flowing into Sa'ada to back the Houthis, heralding the regime's impending overthrow.

In a released letter, Member of Parliament Yahya Al-Houthi, whose immunity was rescinded, requested Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt halt their support to Yemeni authorities, noting that their armored vehicles gifted to Yemeni authorities are killing and injuring hundreds of their Yemeni brothers, as well as destroying dozens of houses, farms, roads and cars and besieging thousands of citizens.

GPC leader losses

The General People's Congress has revealed that more than 343 of its leaders have been killed or injured in the ongoing war in Sa'ada between Houthi loyalists and Yemeni army forces.

Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper quoted Yasser Al-Awadhi, deputy head of the GPC parliamentary bloc, as saying, “The large number of victims among this party's leaders is attributed to their participation with Yemeni army and security forces in the war against Houthis.”