Sana, Asharq Al-Awsat- Dozens were killed or wounded in fresh clashes between Yemeni army troops and rebellious followers of Al-Huthi. The fighting occurred in several areas of Sa’dah Governorate that is 242 km to the north of Sanaa.
Local sources in Sa’dah reported that around 30 of Al-Huthi’s followers died in a battle on the outskirts of the city of Dahyan and a similar number was wounded. Among the troops 15 were killed and 10 were wounded. The sources said that the two sides used various types of weapons in these battles, which have been described as the fiercest so far in the so-called third war in this governorate since January 2007.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry announced that in the past two days the army launched expert and fierce attacks against Al-Huthi’s followers who are led by Abd-al-Malik al-Huthi, son of the cleric Badr-al-Din al-Huthi,and Abdallah Aydah al-Razami in areas close to Dahyan, which according to the Defense Ministry is the main stronghold of Al-Huthi’s followers.
The local sources said that the army’s operation targeted all the pockets of Al-Huthi’s followers in the Hajar al-Adal area in the Al-Safra sub district and Al-Mazru area in Al-Talah sub district. They added that the Yemeni soldiers seized many of the positions that Al-Huthi’s followers had formerly occupied.
The sources affirmed that the army seized large quantities of heavy weapons, medium- and small-caliber armaments, grenades, mines, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, mortars, and large- and medium-caliber machine guns. The soldiers also found books and other propaganda materials, audiocassettes, leaflets, and audio systems that Al-Huthi’s followers used for the purposes of mobilization and incitement against the country’s armed forces, security forces, and the citizens.
Sources in the Army Command in Sa’dah learned that Al-Huthi’s followers had made early preparations to carry out terrorist attacks. The same sources added that many of the rebels surrendered and were immediately transferred to Sa’dah City. They were found to carry in their pockets written instructions and amulets. According to Army Command sources, rebel commanders use these amulets to deceive recruits and drive them to combat and death. The amulets give the recruits the false impression that they are protected from anyharm and promise them paradise.
Numerous parts of Sa’dah Governorate were the scene of fierce battles between army troops and security forces on one side and the rebels in the past two months that left hundreds dead on both sides and caused significant financial losses to the country.
It should be noted that the mountainous region of Maran wasthe site of the first rebellion, which was led by Husayn Badr-al-Din, founder of the banned Faithful Youth group. A government campaign against that group lasted for three months and ended with Husayn Badr-al-Din’s death in September 2004.Soon war began again when a new rebellion started, which the government said was led by Badr-al-Din al-Huthi. That particular rebellion ended in March 2005.