Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Yemeni Pro-Government Forces Spot 16 Hezbollah Militants in Tihama | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Newly recruited Houthi fighters ride on the back or a truck during a parade before heading to the frontline to fight against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen January 3, 2017. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo

Jeddah- Yemen’s Popular Resistance, made up of tribesmen backing the government, sent reconnaissance information on 16 Hezbollah militants, among which are three Iranian nationals, present in the Red Sea coastal plain of Arabia.

Intelligence was handed over to the military command present in the fifth zone.

The 16 militants have been located within Tihama province between Hodeidah and Hajjah, as well as militias’ headquarters in all governorates.

In a telephone conversation with Asharq Al-Awsat, Deputy Governor of Hajjah Nasser Daqin, tasked with supporting the popular resistance in Tihama, said pro-government tribesmen have registered the presence of 16 foreign militiamen and reported to respective authorities immediately.

After locations and logistics of the militiamen were verified, tribesmen swiftly cooperated with military present in the area to tackle the threat as soon as possible.

Despite persistent attempts by the militias, pressured by army advancement on several axes, to flee the region toward Sanaa, they failed because main ports inside Tihama are controlled and secured by Arab coalition forces, Daqin added.

Multiple factors prompt militias to flee urgently, one of which is the rapid progress made by national army troops supported by Arab coalition aircraft. Efforts carried out by local popular resistance members are also one of the key factors.

At least 16 senior militia commanders have been killed as a result of these efforts. Popular Resistance members diligently track Houthi militiamen movements, providing valuable intelligence prior to operation launch.

Tribesmen have turned over the tables in terms of direct confrontation with militias, and have provided information which caused heavy losses among Houthi ranks in the past three months.

Some 232 operations have been a success all thanks to intelligence afforded and gathered by Popular Resistance members. Abovementioned operations neutralized 400 regional militia targets.

Losses have further pressured Houthi leaders to order militias present in Tihama to exit.

Yemen’s war has pitted pro-government forces against Iran-aligned Houthi insurgents and their allies, troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to help the government retake the capital Sanaa.