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Saudis say Al Houthi rebels following Al Qaida's tactics

Army concentrating on 'war of caves' in the region

  • By Abdul Rahman Shaheen and Nasser Arrabyee, Correspondents
  • Published: 00:00 November 12, 2009
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Saudi soldiers on patrol in the southern province of Jizan, near the border with Yemen in this file photo

Riyadh/Sana'a: Yemen's Al Houthi rebels are mainly following the "Cave Warfare" tactics of Al Qaida in their current armed confrontation with Saudi armed forces.

A Saudi security source told Gulf News that the Kingdom's army is now concentrating largely on a "war of caves" in the mountainous border regions after discovering that many rebels took shelter in caves on rugged mountains across the border.

The armed forces have also set afire the mountains close to Jebel Dukhan in their massive hunt to track down rebels hiding in such caves.

"The rebels are following the tactics of Al Qaida in waging fighting after taking caves as their bases. But we are now going to give them a painful punishment, and will strive to flush out the last aggressor from their hideouts," the security source said.

The rebel leader Abdul Malek Al Houthi, on his part, denied any coordination between his rebellious movement and Al Qaida.

"It is not true that there is coordination between us and Al Qaida. Al Qaida is a tool in the hand of the American intelligence and also in the hand of the intelligence of some Arab regimes loyal to America," said the rebel leader in a statement sent through e-mail.

Al Qaida on its part, blasted Iran, and the Shiites all over the world, particularly in Bahrain and Kuwait, and also Al Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabian regime, describing them all as enemies.

"Your first enemy is the crusaders from America and Nato alliance and the second enemy is Al Rafeda (Shiites), who are more dangerous to Islam than the Jews and Christians," said an internet statement attributed to Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Rashid, who is believed to be one of the leaders of Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

The spokesman of the Yemeni army Askar Zuael said: "We are not fighting against Al Houthis because they are Shiite, but are fighting them because they broke the constitution and law, so the issue is political not sectarian."

"All the sectors of the Saudi armed forces, under the direct commandership of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Deputy Minister of Defence, are taking part in the ongoing battle against the Houthi infiltrators. Prince Khalid is personally supervising all the military movements and field operations," he said.

Another security source, who requested anonymity, said that the presence of Prince Khalid, who is also the son of the Crown Prince, Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, has had a positive effect on all the armed personnel, who are engaged in operations to flush out of the rebels.

On his part, Prince Khalid said he was amazed by the troops' tactical skills and management of the battle.

Addressing the armed forces on the border, he declared that the armed forces will continue their airstrikes against the infiltrators until they move back from the Saudi frontier.

"We are not going to stop the bombing until the infiltrators retreat tens of kilometres inside their border," Prince Khalid said on a visit to Saudi troops.

Compensation

Meanwhile, Prince Mohammad Bin Naser, Governor of Jizan, told Gulf News that all the families affected by the ongoing military operation against the infiltrators will be given compensation.

"One-thousand riyals will be paid to each house owner per week, The mother and children will also get 1,000 riyals and 200 riyals, respectively," he said

At least 14 Al Houthi rebels were killed and dozens of others injured in different places in Sa'ada, said the Ministry of Defence yesterday.

Four rebels were killed around Sa'ada city and the other 10 were killed in Kataber in clashes with tribesmen loyal the government, the ministry said in statement.

The statement identified those killed around the city of Sa'ada as the terrorists Abdul Azeez Hajar, Mohammad Ali Mohya, Hussain Al Daye and Ajmil Mohsen Al Tumani.

Of those killed in Qataber, the statement identified three as the terrorists Abdul Rahman Al Hakem, Hussain Abdul Kareem and Ahmad Esmail Al Dhahyani.

More than 20 rebels were killed or injured including, the terrorist Ahmad Saleh Dughsan, in an attack implemented by the troops in Al Amar near Sa'ada city, the statement said.
 
Three cars laden with weapons and supply materials were destroyed in Sabhala and Al Safra areas east of Sa'ada city.

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior said that the Iranian suspect ship that was seized in Midi harbour on October 26, was drawn to the harbour of Al Salif.

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