Houthis target Marib army command meeting

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

A Yemeni tribesman from the pro-government Popular Resistance Committees stands in the Mahram Bilqis area in Marib on February 9th, 2018. [Abdullah al-Qadry/AFP]

A Yemeni tribesman from the pro-government Popular Resistance Committees stands in the Mahram Bilqis area in Marib on February 9th, 2018. [Abdullah al-Qadry/AFP]

The Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) on Wednesday (May 27th) fired two ballistic missiles, one of which hit Sahn al-Jan camp, the army's command in Marib, with deadly impact, Yemen's army said.

The militia was targeting a meeting of Yemeni army leaders that was taking place at the camp, local and regional media reported.

Eight members of the Yemeni forces were killed at the headquarters, including the son of army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Saghir bin Aziz, and others were wounded, the Ministry of Defence said.

The other missile was intercepted and destroyed by Arab coalition air defences.

The attacks follow battles between the two sides in al-Jawf, Nehm in Sanaa and Sirwah in Marib, the army said.

These battles followed a unilateral two-week ceasefire announced by the Arab coalition, and a bilateral one-month ceasefire in response to UN calls to focus efforts on confronting novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The latter truce expired on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.

"The blood of martyrs who were killed in this treacherous criminal attack will not be spent in vain, and the heroes of the national army will strongly respond to it on all fronts," said Yemeni army spokesman Brig. Gen. Abdo Majali.

"The attack came after the victories the national army achieved on Nehm front, east of Sanaa, in al-Bayda province, Sirwah and al-Jawf," he said.

"The attack will motivate the armed forces to chase the remnants of the Iran-backed Houthis, and recapture the areas that are still under their control," he added.

In their "hysteria and confusion", Majali said, the Houthis have fired missiles "haphazardly from time to time on civilian objects".

'Serving the interests of Iran'

The Houthis' missile attack was preceded by several attacks that targeted camps and even residential neighbourhoods, said political analyst Faisal Ahmed.

"This proves that the Houthis are unable to resolve the battle on the ground, and therefore, they resort to targeting meetings and civilians," he told Al-Mashareq.

"Although this attack is a 'success' on the media level and leaves behind more victims, it confirms the failure of those militias, which are serving the interests of Iran at the expense of their own people," he said.

Ahmed called on Houthi leaders to "choose peace, and respond to repeated UN calls for confronting the spread of coronavirus, which threatens a health disaster in Yemen, especially in Sanaa and other areas they control".

In recent months, the Houthis have been advancing on government troops in Marib, which they captured in 2014 at the start of the conflict, AFP reported.

On January 18th, a missile attack attributed to the Houthis killed 118 people and wounded dozens at a mosque in a military camp in Marib.

The Houthis took control of al-Hazm, the provincial capital of al-Jawf, earlier this year -- a strategic advance that means they now threaten Marib province.

Do you like this article?

2 Comment(s)

Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500



My wish and prayer to Allah: O, Allah, the One, please help us and enable us to visit our first Qebla and the ascension of our Prophet, the country of prophets, al-Quds and the Holy Aqsa. We want to pray there before we die. O, Allah, help our people in Palestine! Amen.