Al Mukalla: The UN envoy to Yemen, Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad has criticised Al Houthis’ intensifying crackdown against supporters and relatives of the assassinated former president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Ahmad said on his official Twitter account that the crackdown was against intentional law and urged the Iran-backed militia to stop attacks on the General People’s Congress (GPC), Saleh’s party. “What is happening in Sana’a is unacceptable and against international humanitarian law. We need to put an end to the targeting of GPC leaders, activists and their families,” Ahmad said.
Shortly after killing Saleh on December 4 Al Houthis launched sweeping arrests against Saleh’s relatives, military and civilian loyalists and his media outlets. Dozens of senior members of the GPC have been killed, detained or put under house arrest. Al Houthis fear that Saleh’s supporters might regroup and revolt against their oppressive rule, including in Sana’a.
Local officials in the Marib province have said that Theyab Bin Al Moeli, a minister of oil in the Al Houthi-Saleh government, which crumbled after Saleh’s death, had arrived in his home province.
Several senior members of Saleh’s party have also recently sneaked into government-controlled territories, fleeing the Al Houthi campaign of arrests. Similarly, Yemen’s Journalist Syndicate said on Friday that armed Al Houthi militiamen stormed the offices of the Yemen Today newspaper, the mouthpiece of Saleh’s party, and arrested two of its staff members. Nabil Al Osaidi from the Journalist Syndicate said the militants destroyed furniture and the newspaper’s archives, and vowed to hunt down journalists who fled the newspaper after Saleh’s death.
Meanwhile, on the battlefields, dozens of militants have been killed over the last 24 hours in fighting with government forces or by Saudi-led coalition fighter jets.
On the Red Sea front, local army commanders said fighter jets from the coalition had targeted armed vehicles heading to the battlefield north of Khokha region in the province of Hodeida. The air raids have foiled Al Houthi attempts to shore up their depleted forces there.
Similar massive air strikes struck armed vehicles carrying Al Houthi fighters to the battlefield in the southern province of Shabwa.
Government forces and allied tribesmen scored a major victory in Shabwa on Friday after taking control of almost all of Bayhan town, Al Houthi’s last urban bastion in Southern Yemen.
In the northern province of Jawf, Abdullah Al Ashraf, a spokesperson for the 6th Military Region, said an Al Houthi field commander named Abdul Nasser Al Jaro, and a number of militants, were killed in clashes with government forces.