Local sources in the town of Dammaj, in Sa’ada province, told Asharq Al-Awsat that dozens have been killed or injured in the bombardment by Houthis of the Salafist-held area close to the Salafist Dammaj Institute founded by the late Sheikh Moqbil Al-Wada’i.
The sources added that the Houthis had bombed a mosque on the campus of the Salafist Dammaj Institute, killing and injuring many.
The bombardment coincided with the presence of members of the central mediation committee in Dammaj, who are attempting to establish a ceasefire and put an end to the violence. The committee accused the Houthis of breaking the ceasefire, which was agreed on last month.
Yahya Mansour Abu Osba’a, the head of the central mediation committee for Dammaj, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the attacks in the area has led to dozens of civilians being killed and injured, including women and children.
Abu Osba’a further confirmed that the Salafists hesitated to hand over control of Jabal Al-Barraqah to the field committees because the mountain is the only one in their control. He criticized the Houthi retaliation and considered the attack “with different kinds of weapons by the Houthis on the Dammaj area, with a population of just over 15,000 civilians and fighters. It was a reckless use of force resulting in a huge loss of life.”
Abu Osba’a confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the leading committee was working to stop Houthi attacks on Dammaj, consolidate the ceasefire and implement the mechanism for a comprehensive solution to the tensions in the area, and is also looking into the possibility of the deployment of the armed forces after the ceasefire.
The Yemeni cabinet has discussed the current deadly attacks in Dammaj and called for all parties to immediately cease all attacks.