Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemen: Houthis Deploy Forces to Saada As Local Residents Gear Up to Dislodge Militias | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People inspect the site of an air strike in Yemen’s northwestern city of Saada April 22, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Jeddah- Yemen’s Houthi coup militias have relocated a large number of their armed insurgents to Saada governorate, pumping medium range arms at an unprecedented rate to the area, said Yemen army forces.

Shoring up their posts in the northwestern governorate is the main objective of the militiamen moving.

The transfer included militias based in the Tihama province and the coup’s de facto capital Sanaa.

Considered a disturbing threat, pro-government forces see that Houthi militias inching in renegades previous promises made the coup’s willingness to withdraw from the strategic port city, Hodeidah, without any military confrontation.

Building up their military posts, Houthi militias hope to tether their remaining military power, although drained, towards sustaining control over Saada, the hometown of insurgency leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

“Pro-government Popular Resistance forces, in coordination with army troops, have been able to set a close evaluation of military capability possessed by the militias in Saada’s vicinity, which rose significantly after many putschists pouring into the area,” Saada governor Hadi Tarshan told Asharq Al-Awsat.

These deployments are monitored daily to gather clearer intelligence on militias’ armament and manpower before the battle to liberate the city,” said Tarshan.

Houthis are taking extreme measures, repositioning their power hubs so that Saada remains protected on the account of withdrawing from or surrendering other strategic Yemeni cities, Tarshan added.

Insurgents consider it the holy mecca and a launching point for their self-styled revolution, he explained.

As governor of the city, Tarshan said that his city never was and never will provide an environment where Iran-aligned culture thrives, a background and belief system he said are incompatible with natural Yemeni societies and traditions.

Tarshan said meetings held among tribal chiefs and city officials are preparing for the people of Saada partaking in the process of dislodging Houthi militias.

The local frontrunners are considering all options available, particularly on coordinating with the pro-government army command.

Intensive meetings with army leaders on mobilizing fighters over upcoming days in preparation for the major liberation process are underway, said Tarshan.

Tarshan added that the presence of a local component in the liberation battle is considered key to confronting militias.

Yemen has been ravaged by an ongoing conflict between Houthis, aligned with Iran, against the constitutionally elected and internationally recognized government headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to help the government retake the capital Sana’a.