Saturday, 30 July 2011

Opposition tribesmen threaten to strike Sana’a international airport

By Nasser Arrabyee/30/07/2011

Armed opposition tribesmen threatened to strike the Sana’a international airport calling all airliners to stop dealing with it, according to a tribal statement on Saturday.

The tribesmen said the “coming” attack on the airport would be in retaliation for the army attacks on their villages in Arhab area, about 30 km north of the airport of Sana’a.

“The barbaric aggression on our areas has reached its climax by the remnants of Saleh’s regime, they used against us all kind of weapons they have, tanks, artillery, missiles, and finally airplanes,” said the statement which was sent to local website early Saturday.

“Therefore, we will strike the international airport of Sana’a with all methods of war in retaliation for that aggression.”

The armed opposition tribesmen of Arhab tried again on Friday to seize a strategic military camp close to the Sana’a international airport, said military and tribal sources. But the attack was foiled by the army, said the sources.

The failed attack of Friday came less than 24 hours after about 100 people were killed including 20 soldiers when airplanes hit thousands of these tribesmen while storming a part of the Sama’a camp of the republican guards, about 30 km north of the Sana’a airport.

The armed tribesmen from areas around the camps are led by the two Islamist prominent figures from Arhab district, member of parliament Mansor Al Hanik and cleric Abdul Majid Al Zandani, who is wanted by the UN and US as a global terrorist.

Local sources from Arhab said tribal leaders are still mobilizing more fighters from other provinces like Mareb , Al Jawf, and Amran. A tribal meeting was held in Zandan, Al Zandani’s village, late Friday.

The defected general Ali Muhsen supports the tribesmen of Arhab who use artillery and missiles in their battles against the three brigades of the republican guards camps in their areas of Arhab.

Tribal sources said that Sheikh Abdul Majid Al Zandani urged over the last few weeks the tribesmen in his tribe Arhab and other areas to join the tribal fighters against the army.
A tribal mediation failed to stop the armed confrontations between the Islamist opposition and the republican guards.

A prominent tribal leader involved in the mediation said the tribesmen keep evading a truce in hope that the regime will collapse.

“The tribesmen who fight the army do not have a specific demand, every time we tell them there must be a solution or at least a truce, they ask for time for consultation and nothing happened after that,” said Tribal leader Abddul Jalil Senan who is leading the tribal mediation in Arhab.

“They have not refused mediation and they have not agreed on a truce, but after the attack on the camp of Samaa, it became clear they were only buying time,” Senan said.

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