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Yemeni Army Official: Houthis Will Not Rule Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Col.Harthy with a Yemeni soldier in Bayhad District, Asharq AL-Awsat

Riyadh- Precision highlights any interview directed with military men. On that note, Col. Misfer Al Harthy wears precision to the point, whether with his timings or explanation.

Col. Harthy is the commander of the 19th trooper brigade assigned to the Bayhan District in the Shabwah Governorate.

Responsible for a strategically military zone, taking into account that it is hub to rich oil wells and natural gases, Col. Harthy reiterated that Houthis will not be allowed to take over the country even should supplies come to an end.

Col. Harthy stated with both bravery and utter solidarity stated that “we will fight them with knives should our arms run out of ammo.”

He confirmed that liberating Bayhan entirely from all Houthi and pro-ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh militias, was a unanimous decision made by both legitimate political and military leaderships.

Col. Harthy clarified that full liberation is around the corner.

When asked on the battle details on the Bayhan front, col. Harthy said that zone operations launched as of 19 March. The army forces staged a successful offensive in which frontline militia trenches were taken down.

Col.Harthy said that many Houthi fighters were killed, with some of the cadavers left out in the barren desert till this day. Over 21 Houthis were taken captive, col. Harthy said.

According to the 19th brigade commander, another offensive took place on June 29 after which army forces regained control over strategic locations.

All military offensives are being staged and plotted in cooperation with the Saudi-led Arab coalition, a cooperative work which led to the success and the effectiveness of the campaign, col. Harthy said.

The lack of airpower was compensated for by using state of the art tanks.

Moreover, Col.Harthy revealed that the trooper 19th brigade is assigned to the sole zone in which a national army soldier stands vis-a-vis with Houthi militias engaging in direct combat, with insurgency nests resting at the short distance of 50 meters alone. Most of the topography includes low hills, plateau farms and water bodies.

As to why the Bayhan liberation process is stretching out this long, Col. Harthy clarified that battle operations are being restricted to the pace of negotiations as to display good intention and pro-legitimacy forces’ commitment to truce.

“However, I confirm our victory, because we stand by justice and are grounded to our positions, will never withdraw and are in constant advance,” col. Harthy said.

“The 19th brigade was established on June 26, 2015 with U.A.E and Saudi-led Arab coalition support—it comprises 3402 soldiers, 2970 of which remain, in addition to Popular Resistance, which is the true backbone to the 19th marching brigade.”

Despite the support present, col. Harthy said that it is regrettably unsatisfactory given the enemy’s developments.

“Should the Bayhan front advance to aid Sirwah and Furdat Nahm battlefields, then comprehensive needs and requirements should be reconsidered,”

“Primarily, ammo stock-deficiency should be covered. We currently are at a 4-6 months of reserve, but more is needed for a swift and triumphant advance,” col. Harthy explained.

Enemy forces composed of Houthis and Iranian experts, and Iranian Revolutionary Guard range between 3,800 to 6,000 armed combatants.

As for the Bayhan district power balance, it is mapped in equal halves each held by either the insurgency or government forces.

However, col. Harthy explained that the nature of land controlled by the Houthi insurgents is of agricultural and residential value. All oil wells lands remains under government control.

Legitimacy forces are in the process of evacuating civilians from Houthi-held territory as to reduce civilian causalities in future battles in the campaign to free Bayhan.

Col. Harthy also spoke of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Bayhan. Recourses are dwindling as dengue fever spreads. Regrettably, no international organizations are present at the area.

Col.Harthy also cited countless violations Houthi insurgents staged since the beginning of the truce. Incidents of deliberate launching of missiles against civilian populations were recorded on the Insurgency’s behalf, despite army locations being strictly defined and away from civilian masses.