The “Gaigantic” brigades and the Yemeni National Army are succeeding in their victory over the “Houthis” strongholds, which are falling consecutively, while Yemen has become the focus of the Arab Gulf states’ attention and so is Lebanon, which has entered into a crisis with the Arab countries due to the statements of some parties in Lebanon about what is happening in Yemen, which has strategic and geographical importance in the region, that the hand of Tehran and its Revolutionary Guards extended to its arena, so what are the reasons that motivate it to fight fiercely there, and does “Hezbollah” have a direct participation in the battles inside it. Thus it was necessary to stand up to the latest developments on the ground, through a dialogue by “Sawt Beirut International” with Yemeni writer and political analyst Ahmed Ayed Raees, Editor in Chief of “Marib Press” website, son of Sana’a, Yemen, on the importance of Yemen to Tehran?
Ayed considered that Yemen, is for Iran, the arena that can implement all that it wants to confront the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including military one, and it has introduced the latest technologies against Saudi Arabia, but under the cloak of the Houthi militia, not to mention that it constitutes an easy front for exporting unrest, security anxiety, economic targeting and all forms of attrition.
In addition, Yemen owns a strait through which most of the Gulf states’ oil, which depends on it for 90% of its economy, passes. It is a critical strategic international artery in international navigation. More than 21 thousand marine blocks pass through it annually, or about 57 marine blocks daily. It is of great military and security importance, and Egypt previously closed it to Israel during the 1973 war and after the September 2001 attacks.
According to Ayed, the second reason, lies in Iran’s conviction that its success in controlling Yemen through the Houthi militias will bring about a major change in the balance of negotiations, whether in its nuclear file or in its economic files, so extracting it and changing its identity to the Iranian character is a strong entrance to bring about transformations in the political geography of the region and the behavior of the players in it. Of course, the biggest loser in this game will be the Saudi neighbour.
As for Hezbollah’s direct participation, Ayed stressed that the latter succeeded in infiltrating Yemen early prior to the coup against power in 2014, as its flow was largely heading to Saada Governorate, the stronghold of the Houthi militia’s leader, and the intelligence services in the former president era “Ali Abdullah Saleh’s” era, succeeded in arresting a number of its members who were involved in several cases affecting the national security of Yemen, and they were imprisoned in the National Security Prison in Sana’a. And the first mission of the Houthis, prior to their takeover of the capital, Sanaa, was to storm the prison, release them and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and confiscate all documents and evidence that were present in the National Security Apparatus at that time.
“Hezbollah’s members have specialized over the past years, before and after the coup, in holding military training courses, most notably in the field of mine-making and cultivation, in addition to installing more than one factory for the manufacture of light and medium munitions deep in the mountains of Saada Governorate, ” Ayed added.
They also trained the Houthi militias on surveillance and espionage operations through communication and internet technologies, pointing out that military reports in Yemen confirm their participation in the war and the fall of dozens in battles. It is difficult to know their identity because they move in Yemeni or Houthi military uniforms, and they are also prohibited from carrying any identification documents or cell phones.
Ayed stressed that “Hezbollah” is considered a supportive partner for the Houthis in planning the militias to overthrow the capital, Sana’a and control the pillars of power, not to mention their participation even in all rounds of international, local and regional talks, where the militias cannot decide on any issue, except after referring to “Hezbollah” and Tehran .
Pointing out that what is prominent, is that they enter Yemeni lands under pseudonyms and various nicknames and are known on the fronts as “Abu Saleh”, “Abu “Fadil” “Abu Hassan” and other nicknames. And the Secretary-General of the party, Hassan Nasrallah, is directly responsible for Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.
“Hassan Erlo is the largest and highest-ranking military commander in the Revolutionary Guards. He was sent to Yemen as the de facto ruler of occupied Sana’a and the rest of the Houthi militias’ control areas, and he entered under a false name through smuggling and forgery, after deceiving the United Nations,” adding that
Ayed adds, months before his death, Erlo clashed with the Houthi military leaders after reprimanding them for their inability to topple Marib, so he overthrew the military and security leaders who had been in charge of the Marib file two years ago and appointed new leaders, making of himself a supreme leader to bring down Marib, but he failed, which increased his confusion and made it easier for him to bypass some security precautions, which made it easy to overthrow him by intelligence means.
As for the course of the battles and the importance of the governorates in this battle, Ayed indicated that the scales changed during the past weeks, specifically after the introduction of new forces on the military scene with high armament and advanced air and military support, that helped the Houthi militias collapse and widen their losses on the ground, and the most prominent of which, was their expulsion from Shabwa governorate, followed by Ma’rib governorate. Which the national army succeeded in achieving qualitative victories during the past days and in securing the city of Ma’rib, which was in great danger from the progress of the Houthi militias, but the new victories defeated its image and toppled its reputation and spread terror and fear in the joints of all the military and security leaders, for fear of any repercussions that can be reflected on the rest of the provinces.
As for the support it was receiving and the process of reaching it, Ayed pointed out that Iran possesses one of the largest smuggling networks in the world for drugs and weapons, and the presence of this criminal system has facilitated the delivery of weapons to the Houthi militias. For the past seven years, we have not witnessed that the Houthi militias suspended any military action as a result of its inability to be armed, unlike the National Army forces, whose armament problems have hindered their movement during the past years.
Pointing out that the port of Hodeidah on the Red Sea constituted the main artery for the entry of weapons of all kinds, starting with ballistic missiles and ending with individual and naval mines, and they are smuggled in small batches through ships with the appearance of foodstuffs and smuggled weapons below them. This network also represented a corridor for the entry of fighters, whether from Lebanon or Iran, or even from other countries.
Ayed concluded by presenting the latest battles’ developments, as he confirmed that the Yemeni army and the popular resistance are applying a deadly siege on the remnants of the Houthi militias in “Al-Balaq Al-Sharqi” and “Al-Akd” and all the sandy areas in the Ma’rib governorate after cutting the supply lines and reaching Jabal Al-Faliha, at a time progress continues towards Mala’a, adjacent to the Harib District.