Sanaa, Asharq Al-Awsat- The military escalation between government forces and Huthist militias in Yemen is continuing. The Huthists set up yesterday several armed outposts on the road that links the capital Sanaa to Sadah Governorate and specifically in the Harf Sufyan District in the Imran Governorate which is located 100 km from the capital.
Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the Huthists’ step is aimed at preventing the arrival of military reinforcements from Sanaa to Sadah Governorate, the main stronghold of Al-Huthi’s supporters.
The sources said the areas where the roads were cut off are “Al-Hummah, Al-Hirah, Wadi Shabariq, Ayyan, and Dhu Sayfan”; all of them areas that lie at the main road. They added that the Huthist gunmen are concentrated in these areas and armed with various weapons while tribal mediation led by several tribal chiefs in Harf Sufyan are trying to persuade the Huthists to remove the armed groups and open the road but the information points to the failure of this mediation so far.
Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that violent clashes took place yesterday between the Huthists and government troops on several fronts, in particular in the border areas with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which the Huthists seized control of during the past two weeks and which the government troops are trying to take back. But there were no precise information about the human casualties and material losses in these clashes. Some areas that were the scene of battles between the two sides during the past five days were relatively and cautiously calm yesterday apart from some skirmishes between the two sides and the sound of artillery and rocket bombardment which was heard in some areas, among them Fullah in Majaz District and Saqin District. The military post in Saqin was seized after its commander, officers, and soldiers surrendered to the Huthists following a siege that lasted almost two weeks.
The sources said the Yemeni mediation committee in the conflict in Sadah between the Yemeni Government and the Huthists and which isled by the known Yemeni arms merchant Faris Manna is continuing to hold meetings in the presence of military commanders and representatives of Al-Huthi group in an attempt to reach a truce between the two sides that prevents the outbreak of an all-out sixth war. Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the committee is presenting many proposals, most importantly and notably restoring the situations to what they were before several weeks, that is, before the outbreak of the recent battles during which the Huthists seized control of important areas, most notably the ones on the Yemeni-Saudi borders.