Friday, 21 August 2009

Army closing in on Al Houthi rebels

By Nasser Arrabyee/21/08/2009

The Yemeni army said Friday it is imposing a complete control on Al Houthi rebels in Sa'ada and Harf Sufyan, as the air fighters continue bombing the strongholds of the leadership of the rebels in Mutrah and Naqa'a.

"The heroes of the armed forces took control over Taba Hamra (Red Hill) and cleansed it from rebels, and eagles of the air force are landing successful and painful blows on the strongholds of the saboteurs in Mutrah and Naqa'a," said an official statement.

A number of rebels were arrested and some others surrendered in the battles going on now in Maran, the statement added.

Tribesmen from Sa'ada, and the neighbouring provinces of Amran and Al Jawf are participating in the fight against Al Houthi rebels according local sources.

Meanwhile, a total of 6 stores of weapons belonging to Al Houthi rebels in Harf Sufyan were found by the army, said military sources Friday.

The weapons stores were found after controlling over Harf Sufyan, Al Mahather, and Al Malahaidh. Some of the weapons, which include automatic riffles and short-run missiles, were Iranian made, the sources said.

Al Housthi spokesman, however, denied that the troops took control over Harf Sufyan, saying "The army is positioning in Al Jabal Al Aswad in Harf Sufyan and it made no progress.

"The army is losing a lot of human and material resources," added the spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Salam.

Al Houthi leaflets in Sana'a

Fearing of any possible attacks from Al Houthi sympathizers, the government has been taking tight security measures in the capital Sana'a since the war erupted on August10th.

In the framework of this campaign, two Al Houthi supporters were arrested on Friday while distributing leaflets calling for fighting with Al Houthi in Bani Hushaish areas at the northern outskirts of the capital Sana'a, said an official statement.

Seeking regional sympathy

Al Houthi rebels said they respect Saudi Arabia and they have no hostile intentions against it.

They said they are not doing a proxy war for Iran in Yemen.

"We are not fighters with any party in the world, and we defy any one to prove the contrast of that, what we are doing is defending ourselves against unjust aggression," said Al Houthi in a letter which was addressed to the people and leadership of Saudi Arabia.

"What's being said in the media are only rumors aiming to make the Saudi regime participate in the war," said the letter which was sent by emails from Al Houthi office.

Relief efforts

In an attempt to prevent a humanitarian disaster, local and international efforts are being exerted to provide shelter and food for tens of thousands who flee the war.

A ministerial committee chaired by Minister of Health, Abdul Kareem Rase, decided Thursday to give 30 million YR (150,000US$) to the local authority of Hajja for helping the people displacing from the war areas mainly from Al Malahaidh.

The committee, which met Thursday in Haradh district in Hajja province, appointed Dr. Omar Mujali as a coordinator between the government bodies and the local and international relief organizations.

The committee decided to establish a camp for the displacing people in Al Marzak area and discussed the mechanisms of providing it with all food and shelter requirements.

The international organizations working in Yemen such UNICEF, WHO, ICRC, FAO, UNHCR are playing key roles in assisting the war victims.

The government said Friday it opened bank accounts in the central Bank and its branches for raising money and donations from the people to assist those displacing from the armed conflict areas in Sa'ada and Amran (Harf Sufyan).

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