YemenMiddle East

Four pro-Hadi militia commanders defect to join Yemeni army forces, allies

Four high-ranking commanders of militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former Saudi-backed former government have reportedly defected and joined the Yemeni army and their allied Popular Committees, which continue to make decisive gains in the battle against the Riyadh-led aggression.

Officials from Yemen’s National Salvation Government received the quartet, who fled from loyalists to ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and joined the ranks of the Yemeni army under a reconciliation agreement, during a ceremony in the capital Sana’a on Saturday, according to Yemen Press Agency (YPA).

The report added that the group included two colonels and as many captains.

The former militia commanders praised the position of the Sana’a-based administration and their efforts to accommodate returnees.

They called on Yemeni militiamen to take advantage of the reconciliation opportunity offered by authorities from Yemen’s National Salvation Government to leave the ranks of the Saudi-led coalition, and serve the nation instead.

Separately, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported more air attacks on the war-torn country on Saturday evening, saying Saudi jets repeatedly bombarded different sites in the county’s northern provinces of Hajjah and Sa’ada.

Fighter jets from the Royal Saudi Air Force launched 16 airstrikes on the Harad district in Hajjah province, as well as four raids on the Razih and Kitaf wa Al Boqe’e districts in the mountainous Sa’ada province.

There were no immediate reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led military coalition’s soldiers and their mercenaries have breached a truce deal for the western coastal province of Hudaydah 290 times in the last 24 hours.

Citing an unnamed source in Yemen’s Liaison and Coordination Officers Operations Room, al-Masirah TV reported that the violations included reconnaissance flights over al-Jabaliyah and Hays districts, 84 counts of artillery bombardment, and 186 shooting incidents.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies, backed by the United States and European powers, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.

The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.

Despite Saudi Arabia’s incessant bombardment of the impoverished country, the Yemeni armed forces have gradually grown stronger, leaving Riyadh and its allies, most notably the United Arab Emirates, bogged down in the country.

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