Al Mukalla: A senior Al Houthi military commander was killed in clashes in South Yemen, Al Houthi media have finally admitted.
Taha Al Moudani, a member of Al Houthi’s Supreme Military Council, was mourned on the rebels’ official media on Saturday but it made no mention of the exact date of his death.
On January 20, Abdullah Al Shandaqi, a spokesperson for Sana’a resistance, said fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition killed Al Moudani in the Nehim district.
“Al Houthis kept the news of his death a secret for fear of demoralising their fighters,” Major General Mohsen Khasrouf, chief of Yemen’s Armed Forces Moral Guidance Department, told Gulf News.
“After losing dozens of their commanders in the war, they now feel there is no point in hiding his death anymore,” he added.
According to experts, Al Moudani was among the chief architects of the Al Houthis coup against internationally-recognised Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
When the rebels established the Supreme Military Council in January 2014, Al Moudani made a few appearances before he left to lead military operations in the south.
“Al Moudani was responsible for killing Al Kushibi and his death is definitely a big blow to the militia,” Major General Khasrouf said, referring to General Hamed Al Kushibi, the commander of Amran’s Brigade 310 who was killed in clashes with Al Houthis in July 2014.
After Al Moudani’s death, only a few leaders remained on the ground to lead Al Houthi battles against the advancing government forces.
“The movement’s remaining main leaders are Abo Ali Al Hakim and the nephews of Abdul Malik Al Houthi,” Major General Khasrouf said.
Analysts say the increasing losses of Al Houthi leadership has dealt a massive blow to the once powerful movement that still controls the capital.
“The armed movement is in their final stages. The remaining leaders will have to fight losing battles, die or flee the country,” Abdul Salam Mohammad, the director of Sana’a-based Abaad Centre for Strategic Studies told Gulf News.