An Al Houthi militant mans a weapon mounted on a patrol truck in Yemen’s capital Sanaa January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah Image Credit: REUTERS

Al Mukalla: Al Houthis on Sunday refrained from confirming the deaths of two of its senior leaders which according to Saudi state TV happened on Saturday in the militants’ heartland of Saada.

The militia, which has lost many of its field commanders in the past couple of days, apparently did not want to undermine their fighters’ morale. Saudi media reported Saturday the deaths of Abdullah Hussain Badr Al Deen Al Houthi and Al Badr Hamid Al Deen Al Houthi.

Abdullah, was the son of Hussain Al Houthi, the group’s founder. Hussain Al Houthi was killed in clashes with government troops in 2004. His son, like many Al Houthi commanders, shied away from giving interviews to the media.

However, in a rare interview in 2009 to a government-run newspaper, he criticised his uncle Abdul Malik Al Houthi, who took charge after the death of his father.

He said he did not trust his uncle who had led the militant movement away from its original goals.

Meanwhile, army commanders and resistance leaders say many Al Houthi commanders have been killed during an offensive by Yemeni forces that has managed to wrest back control of much of the Al Houthi-occupied territory.

Major General Amin Al Waeli, commander of the 6th Military Region in the Jawf province, told Gulf News said that he was aware of the deaths of the Al Houthi leaders but he was not authorised to give any more information about it.

The operation, which involved pro-government operatives based in Saada, was highly sensitive and any information revealed could endanger their lives.

Local media reported other Al Houthi leaders were killed in Saturday strikes as well. Al Masdar Online, said that an air strike in Bayda killed Saddam Ahmad Kadema who goes by the name Abu Taha.

Another military leader called Ali Ousha was also killed on Saturday in an ambush in the same province.