Terrorism |

Houthi missile attack on Yemen MP kills 2 including child

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden and AFP

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A Houthi supporter chants slogans as he holds on his shoulder a Kalashnikov assault rifle during a tribal meeting in Sanaa on September 21st. [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

A missile attack by the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) on the home of a Yemeni lawmaker killed two of his relatives Wednesday (January 22nd), drawing condemnation from the UN after a recent strike in the area left 116 dead.

The attack on Wednesday night targeted the home of MP Mossad Hussein al-Sawadi in Marib province, east of Sanaa, killing his daughter-in-law and 16-year-old granddaughter, according to the official Saba news agency.

"Al-Sawadi was seriously injured along with three other members (of his family)," said Hussein al-Huleissi, director of the criminal investigation department in Marib.

"The strike destroyed the home completely and caused panic in the residential neighbourhood," he said.

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths condemned the attack and called for a halt to the recent military escalation in Yemen, which comes after several months of relative peace.

"Targeting MPs and civilian areas is unacceptable and against international law," he said in a tweet.

The attack came after a missile strike blamed on the Houthis killed 116 people including civilians at a mosque in a military camp in Marib on Saturday.

On Thursday, authorities in Marib said they dismantled two Houthi-linked "cells" that took part in planning the strike.

'Crossed all red lines'

Information Minister Muammar al-Eryani condemned the attack on Twitter, accusing the Houthis of committing terror crimes against Yemenis "in retaliation for the killing of [Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force commander] Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani".

"This crime has crossed all red lines," he said, adding that it has revealed the bloody nature of the Houthi militia.

The military defeats sustained by the Houthis in Nahm, Sarwah and al-Jawf over the past few days have prompted the militia to retaliate, said military analyst Col. Yahya Abu Hatem.

News reports indicate that five Houthi commanders from the al-Dulaimi family, including Abbas al-Dulaimi, have been killed on the Nahm front north-east of Sanaa, he said in a statement.

Additionally, reports are circulating that Abdul Khaliq al-Houthi, a younger brother of Houthi leader Abdul Malek al-Houthi, was injured in a coalition airstrike on Nahm Wednesday night.

"All the military assets and personnel that the Houthis have been mobilising for a month were destroyed by the national army in a matter of days," said Abu Hatem, who is also the media director of the 6th Military District.

Yemeni forces gain ground

Yemeni forces are staging major achievements on the mountains of Nahm district, 7th Military District Commander Maj. Gen. Muhsin al-Khobbi said.

The enemy is collapsing and the morale of their elements is at an all time low, he said in a statement.

"Many Houthi commanders have been killed in recent battles, and dozens of their elements have surrendered as soon as the National Army forces reached their positions," he said.

"The Houthis are moving their elements from the fronts where fighting has stopped to the Nahm front," said political analyst Faisal Ahmed.

They are calling on civilians to join the fighting in Nahm, in a clear indication of the heavy human and military losses the militia has sustained, whether in the current battles or throughout the years of war, he said.

In order to win the war, the Yemeni army needs to boost its forces and provide them with aerial support from the coalition, as well as open new fronts to disperse the Houthis' forces, Ahmed said.

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