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Yemeni Official: 50 Iranian Experts Running Battles in Hodeidah | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Houthi militants patrol the vicinity of a venue in Sana’a. (Reuters)

Jeddah – Hodeidah Undersecretary Walid al-Qadimi revealed that some 50 Iranian experts, including members of the so-called Lebanese “Hezbollah”, are currently present in the Yemeni city and are spearheading various military operations.

These experts oversee the mass planting of land mines, in addition to naval mines along Hodeidah’s coastal lines, and are responsible for rockets launched from the city “Sarh Saba’a” against military posts held by pro-government Yemeni army troops, said Qadimi. Increased projectile activity has been registered by local sources recently.

Iranian experts have set up a command operations room in Hodeidah through which they manage firsthand offensives and military confrontations on the west coast.

Meanwhile, pro-legitimacy army forces continue to register sweeping advances on different west coast fronts.

Such advances enraged present Iranians, who poured in from several Yemen provinces, moving closer to Hodeidah, in an attempt to stop national army forces from taking over the port city in the coming days, he added.

Qadimi pointed out that large numbers of foreign experts in Hodeidah, which is the key route for militias’ arms smuggling, prompted leaders in coup-run Sana’a to send military reinforcements.

Two brigades of Yemen’s elite Republican Guard, loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have been deployed to Hodeidah in the last few days.

Iran-backed putschists have also stepped up local recruitment in the city in preparation for the final standoff for their stronghold. Coup-declared Hodeida governor Hassan al-Haraj formed a committee chiefly tasked with recruitment.

Qadimi emphasized military movements of pro-legitimacy forces and the liberation of many strategic sites. He said it forced a major battlefield shift as Iranian experts and so-called “Hezbollah” associates rushed in large numbers to secure the city. Coup allies hope to deter the dashing progress of pro-legitimacy forces.

Insurgency domination of Yemen’s western coastline–international maritime waters adjacent to Hodeidah ports– long represented the coup’s backbone for armament and supported them in sustaining upper-hand control in Sana’a, their de facto capital, Qadimi said.

He highlighted militias experiencing a heightened state of fear and confusion with every advance registered by pro-government militaries backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition air force.

Iranian experts are still deployed in Hodeidah and anti-Houthi Popular Resistance tribesmen have been able to procure personal footage of some of the experts directing naval and land battles.

Arab tribesmen have come together across Yemen in an effort to support and back the internationally recognized government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, a movement which later came to be known as the Popular Resistance.

Houthis, allied with armed loyalists backing ousted Saleh, are accused of advancing Iran’s expansionist agenda in the region. Making up a majority of the coup militiamen, Houthis overran Sana’a since late 2014, after which the country has only descended further into chaos.

There have been multiple attempts to monitor and target the foreign experts, but none succeeded. Attempts failed as a result of them being solely present in densely populated locations, not to mention local militias presenting each of the experts with their own maximum security detail.