Houthi militias collapse, suffer major losses

By Rajive Singh

LAHEJ 13 January 2018: Yemen National Army forces have made rapid advances in Al Qubaita district, north of Lahej Governorate, killing and wounding dozens of Houthi militias.

According to Yemen News Agency, the Yemeni armed forces liberated the strategic Jabal Al Hamam after fierce battles with the Houthi coup militias, said Wam.

Houthi militias collapse

Between last December and the beginning of January this year, the Iranian-backed Houthi militias were heavily assaulted by the operations of the Yemeni National Army and the Arab Coalition Forces, led by Saudi Arabia, and it has become apparent that they are in a state of total collapse.

The Yemeni National Army and the Arab Coalition Forces have opened multiple fronts leading to Sanaa, which have created a state of confusion between the militias and cut off their connections to their central leadership, forcing many to flee or surrender.

The militias now live under the worst ever conditions on the back of the failure of their key military and field leaders, who have either been killed or captured, a miserable situation which made them commit further atrocities against unarmed civilians, recruit students forcibly and assault female school teachers.

The militias have gone further than simply robbing businesses and taking their money by force. These and other actions reflect the growing dissent among many of their military leaders, who announced their rejection of these practices.

Strategic Area

The West Coast of Yemen is a key strategic area of operations, as Al Hudaydah Port is a source of logistical support and a route for smuggling weapons to the militias.

In the first week of December, an official source from the UAE Armed Forces declared the total liberation of Al Khawkhah.

The Yemeni National Army also reached the outskirts of Al Tuhayta and Hays, cutting off the supply lines linking between Al Hudaydah and Taiz.

The Arab Coalition Forces destroyed the strongholds of the militias in Al Qatabah, which lies north of Al Khawkhah, in a decisive battle that saw the destruction of their forces and the death of many of their troops, mostly field commanders.

The rapid advances towards Al Hudaydah from the country’s East Coast is a juncture in the ongoing liberation of Yemen, in which the UAE Armed Forces have played a key role and dealt a fatal blow to the coup perpetrators, due to the importance of Al Hudaydah Port, which the Yemeni Army is close to reaching, being the key gateway for smuggling weapons and missiles to the Houthis.

YNA Advancing

The Yemeni National Army is also advancing towards Saada, with support from the Arab Coalition Air Forces, after controlling strategic locations in Albuqa and clearing the camps of Taybat al-Ism, Al Jumayshat, Al Ajasher, Makhnaq Sala, Watbat Al Tala’a and Mahjouba. The army also took control of the Kitaf Road and the centre of Imara from the Houthis, and secured the Al Yatma-Albuqa Road.

The Houthi militias suffered heavy losses in battles that took place in Nihm District, east of Sanaa. The Yemeni News Agency reported, through the official spokesperson of the “7th Military Area,” that the army attacked militia locations and liberated Al Hawl, Jebal Al-Brak, Shaab Al Shlef and Beni Amer Dam. They also took control of the main trench used by the militias to supply its fighters in the strategic location of Tabat Al Qanaseen, and cleared mines in the area.

In Usaylan District, Shabwa Governorate, the Yemeni National Army and Popular Resistance achieved new military victories against the militias and liberated strategic locations.

The agency, reporting from sources in the field, stated that Brigade 21 Mika and resistance members liberated Al-Salim Point, which is the southern entrance to Beihan’s districts, as well as al-Akda, Al ‘Alam, Lkhaidar and Belboum, and encountered groups fleeing from the militias.

In Control

The Yemeni Army has also managed to capture and fully control the strategic mountain area of Jebel Sheikh Saeed after defeating the militias. The mountain is a key area, as it overlooks Al Afeer, Al Kuwaihah, Azlat Al Yemen, Qahban and other Houthi-held locations.

The Yemeni Army also controls strategic locations east of Sanaa, including the mountain areas of Al Doshoush, Al-Nafaha and Tabat Al Qanaseen, as well as Al-Mashana in Nihm District, after violent battles that killed and wounded many militia members while the Arab Coalition Air Force conducted several raids on militia locations and strongholds.

In Al Bayda’, the coalition forces liberated several strategic locations, most notably al-Thaaleb, while Al Jawf Governorate witnessed, before the start of the year, the liberation of Al Mahashema and Al-Eshah in Khab Wal Shaaf District.

In Lahij, the strategic area of Jabal Al Qarn fell into the hands of the Yemeni Army at the beginning of January, after it attacked areas controlled by the militias in Tur Al Baha District. The army also now fully controls the international supply line connecting al-Yatma, north east of Al Jawf, with Al-Buqa, north of Saada.

The Houthi militias are in a state of collapse and shock, due to the deaths of their key military and field commanders from air strikes waged by the Arab Coalition Air Forces.

Leadership Killed

During last December, the Houthis lost Ismail Muhammad Ali al-Shaabani, Commander of the Sirwah Front, also known as Abu Jihad, and their prominent leader, Yasser Faisal Al Ahmar, who was killed with 30 others by Arab Coalition raids in the West Coast. Two other field commanders, Mohammed Hassan Al Sawsawah Yamaneya and Abu Ibtesam Al Saadawy, were killed during battles in Al Bayda’ Governorate.

Air raids conducted by the Arab Coalition on 12th December, 2017, resulted in the deaths of 100 militia members, including field commanders, such as Ali Mohammed Sulaiman Hulaisi, Nader Humaid Qassem Haikal, and another known as “Abu Malek.”

The brutal practices carried out by the militias against unarmed civilians in various Yemeni regions have increased, and they recently imposed, in a blatant violation of human rights, the forced recruitment of school students and citizens. They also assaulted female school teachers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, who tried to prevent them from storming the school and stood up against their forced recruitment campaign.

The Houthi militias also stormed several money exchange companies in Sanaa and robbed their money, which marked the beginning of a new stage of plundering.

Another indication that the Houthis are about to collapse is the defection of many of their military leaders, including prominent commanders, such as Staff Colonel Hani Qeyou’, Artillery Commander of the Coast Defence Brigade in Al Hudaydah, and Sheikh Humair Ibrahim, the Commander in Charge of the Hays and Al Khawkhah Front, who surrendered to the UAE Armed Forces.