| 15 April 2024, Monday |

6 Yemeni soldiers killed in Houthi attacks on Al-Dhale

Despite international appeals to de-escalate the conflict and engage in UN-mediated efforts to bring an end to the war, the Houthis have intensified their assaults on Yemeni government forces in the governorate of Al-Dhale.
At least six soldiers have been killed and several others injured in shelling and ground attacks in the Al-Fakher and Al-Thawkhab regions since Wednesday. The attacks came despite Western ambassadors threatening to isolate the militia group if it did not bring an end to the fighting.

Fuad Jabari, Dhale front spokesperson, told Arab News on Sunday that the Houthis had bombarded southern forces in contested areas of Al-Dhale with tanks, mortars and heavy machine guns while bringing in reinforcements from other provinces, presumably in preparation for more aggressive attacks.

“The Houthi escalation coincides with their so-called defense minister’s visit to the Al-Dhale front. For the first time in a very long time, they employed tanks and mortar projectiles in their attacks,” Jabari said, adding that the southern forces had thwarted the Houthis’ attempts to capture new territory.

Similarly, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that a Houthi-fired drone was shot down over army-controlled territory in the northern province of Jouf’s Al-Jadafer.

That came after Houthi Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Al-Atefi visited battlefields in Jouf, Taiz and Lahj, and threatened to restart military operations across the country if the Houthis’ opponents did not fulfill their demands.

Last week, the ambassadors of the US, UK and France urged the Houthis to de-escalate and negotiate with the Yemeni government to reach a peace agreement, threatening to isolate them if they resumed military activities.

“The international community is committed to supporting the progress of a sustainable, UN-led peace process in Yemen,” they said in a joint statement.

“We call on the Houthis to renounce definitively any military option. Any return to conflict would lead to their total isolation by the international community. The people of Yemen deserve peace.”

Meanwhile, Rashad Al-Alimi, chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, has directed Taiz Gov. Nabeil Shamsan to form a committee to investigate the shooting incident at an Eid celebration in Taiz and bring the offenders to justice.

Residents said on Saturday that armed men attacked a football field where hundreds of people had congregated to celebrate Eid and honor veteran Yemeni musician Mohamed Mohsen Atroush.

But a military source told Arab News that the guards of a local government official fired into the air to disperse a fight between groups of individuals attempting to remove images of Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, a presidential council member and the nephew of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Taiz was at the heart of Arab Spring-inspired protests in Yemen that resulted in the removal of Ali Abdullah Saleh from power in 2011.

In videos posted on social media, people were seen fleeing the stadium amid deafening gunfire.

The incident provoked uproar in the besieged city, with residents demanding an end to the disorder and proliferation of firearms.

“Why don’t they stop this from happening?” Huda Al-Hakimi, a photographer from Taiz, said on Facebook.

“Suddenly, your happiness is replaced by dread and despair. What is the reason for this disregard for human life?”

  • Arab News