Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemeni Army Closes in on Sanaa Airport Forcing 30 Insurgent Leaders to Escape | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Southern People’s Resistance militants loyal to Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi move a tank from the al-Anad air base in the country’s southern province of Lahej, REUTERS/Stringer

Jeddah – Thirty leaders of former guards of Ali Abdullah Saleh have escaped as the National Army arrived at Sanaa airport.

According to a Yemeni military official, the escaping insurgent leaders are high ranking and had pivotal roles.

The source revealed that the military officials escaped from Sanaa towards different locations after realizing that the National Army is about to enter the capital, which is the stronghold for Houthis and their ally Ali Saleh.

According to the same source, the remaining leaders will try to secure an exit within the coming 48 hours. The insurgency leaders will try to escape as soon as possible before the army liberates the city.

In the field, the National Army successfully advanced on all axes, most prominent of them Sanaa airport.

Arab Coalition Forces sent over one thousand fully equipped soldiers to support the National Army on the Lahij front.

According to Deputy Chief of Staff General Naser al-Tahiri, 30 leaders left Yemen secretly towards Arab and other countries.

General Tahiri told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper the leaders have reached a dead end and found they have no solution but to escape the country. He added that some of them issued fake passports or claimed they are going for treatment outside the country, thinking it would make their escape legal.

The Deputy Chief didn’t rule out the possibility of more escape attempts in the coming days. He also expected some of the leaders who have captured the Yemeni Minister of Defense to escape as well.

According to Tahiri, legitimate forces follow a clear strategy to advance especially in Fardet Nahim and al-Jawf.

Tahiri confirmed that despite reinforcements, Houthis are devastated. While the army and resistance are at their best.

General Tahiri further added that international community and Arab Coalition Forces are now convinced that Houthi militias don’t want peace. He continued that Houthis and their ousted ally took advantage of the Kuwait peace talks to regroup themselves and strengthen their positions.

Regarding the military support coalition forces offered to the army, Tahiri said that the support was in Lahij Governorate where the forces sent about one thousand soldiers with their equipment and vehicles. He explained that some of the sites in the governorate that were under al-Qaeda control, are now under ruled by Houthis.