7,000 tribesmen join Yemen’s Giant Brigades

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


Yemeni fighters from the pro-government Giant Brigades gather with armed pick-up trucks and armoured vehicles on the side of a road during the offensive to seize the Red Sea port city of al-Hodeidah from the Houthis on June 21st. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Around 7,000 fighters from Yemen's Tihama tribe have joined the Giant Brigades on the western coast, Yemen's army announced Thursday (July 12th).

Meanwhile, as the battle has paused to give UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths a chance to negotiate peace, the government briefed the UN Security Council on the Houthis’ violations in al-Hodeidah, local media reported.

"Thousands of Tihama tribesmen have joined us to take part in liberating the west coast," the Giant Brigades media centre announced in a statement.

The Giant Brigades is a former elite unit of the Yemeni army rebuilt by the UAE, reinforced by thousands of fighters from southern Yemen.

Al-Hodeidah Brigade, commanded by Yahia al-Wahesh, will join forces with the Giant Brigades under the command of Abdul Rahman Abu Zaraa al-Mahremi.

Zaranig resistance, also comprised of Tihama tribesmen, said it would join the Giant Brigades, as did the battalions of Martyr Hassan Dobla.

A message to the UN

Yemen’s permanent representative to the UN Ahmed bin Mubarak said the government has handed a message to the UN Security Council and Secretary General detailing the Houthis’ violations against the people of al-Hodeidah.

These include deploying snipers in residential areas of al-Hodeidah and cutting off the water supply to the locals, he said in an interview on local television.

"The Houthis also are using civilians in al-Hodeidah as human shields," he said, noting that the Iran-backed militia is trying to exploit the situation to ensure continued international pressures to prevent the liberation of al-Hodeidah.

"All indicators show al-Hodeidah battle will resume soon," said political analyst Waddah al-Jalil. "There are no signs of engaging in serious negotiations, and there are no indications of a possible breakthrough, at least in the foreseeable future."

"The Houthis are clinging to al-Hodeidah and its port and are just trying to gain time and look for an international rescue," he told Al-Mashareq. "Meanwhile, the government is stressing the need for the Houthis to withdraw."

"I think the battle to recapture al-Hodeidah is imminent," political researcher Yassin al-Tamimi told Al-Mashareq.

"The legitimate government and coalition have no other option but to proceed with the battle if pressures fail to force Houthis to withdraw from al-Hodeidah."

"All sides are in dilemma," al-Tamimi said.

"The Houthis realise that losing al-Hodeidah means the beginning of the actual end of their presence and role," he said. "Meanwhile, if the government forces do not proceed with the liberation [if the Houthis do not withdraw], it will be a huge defeat for it."

Maintaining currency stability

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Yemen on Thursday said it would provide hard currencies for importing basic commodities and foodstuffs.

"The Central Bank has provided hard currencies for purchasing basic commodities and foodstuffs for the local market, and has taken several measures to maintain currency stability," said bank governor Mohammed Zammam.

"However, the fiscal conditions will not stabilise, and state employees will not fully benefit, as long as the Houthis control large resources which they direct for their war effort to prolong it," he added.

"By providing hard currencies for importing basic commodities, the Central Bank will alleviate pressures on hard currencies in the local market," economist Abdul Jalil Hassan told Al-Mashareq.

But "fiscal and economic stability in the long run will only be realised when the war stops", he said.

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O, God, give victory to them!


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