The Houthis’ Attempts to Penetrate South Yemen Through 3 Fronts

Reports

Sat, 24-07-2021 01:07 AM, Aden Time

Aden (South24)

The Houthis are close to penetrate into the governorates of South Yemen, from 3 fronts, after the withdrawal of the Islah-affiliated Hadi Forces from Al Bayda' bordered by Shabwa, Lahij and Abyan according to sources who spoke with "South24".

The sources stressed that the Houthis have advanced from Al Bayda’ direction Yesterday towards the southern governorate of Shabwa, after they controlled Aqabat-Al Qanthaa, on the outskirts of Bayhan, stirring battles that killed 5 and injured other 6 of Shabwa citizens.

The Houthis has launched an attack which enabled them to control the strategic Aqabat-Al Qanthaa, of Numan District in Al Bayda, that includes a mountain chain overlooking Bayhan District in Shabwa, while the Arab Coalition bombed Houthis reinforcements at the same area, according to Saudi media.

Earlier in July, Hadi Forces carried out “Operation (Al Najm Al Thakib” (Piercing Star)) which moved the war weight from Marib to Al Bayda’ fronts, and to control its districts Al Zahir and Al Sawmaah. However, this temporary victory did not last long as the Houthis regained control on Al Zahir by launching a counterattack.

The Houthis have regained their control on large areas in Al Bayda’ through a military operation dubbed as “AL Nasr Al Mubin” (Undeniable Victory) in mid July.

They tightened their grip on “Juraybat”, of Numan District, and “Fadha” of Al Malagim District, which paved the way for them to gain more influential areas.

The Houthi- affiliated channel “Almasirah” said that the Arab Coalition carried out 5 air raids on “Nati District” in Bayda’, while there are continuous battles in various areas of “Nati” and “Al Malagim Districts, amid Houthi attempts to control the southern governorate of Shabwa, through Numan Gate, and extending also towards the governorates of Lahij and Abyan.

Analysts believe that the Hadi Forces’ withdrawal from “Aqabat-Al Qanthaa” stirs questions, as this gave the Houthis the strategic advantage to attack Bayhan, and open a safe path for them to penetrate the southern governorates again, after the Southern Resistance liberated Baihan from the Houthi grip in December 2017.

This comes after last week- bloody clashes among the Special Forces and the Public Security Forces in Shabwa last week.

The Houthis, who has imposed their control on Al Bayda’ since 2014, after invading Sanaa and other northern governorates aspire to control Bayhan in South, as it is a crossroads between 3 governorates- Marib, Al Bayda’ and Shabwa, as well as its oil and gas importance.

Governmental dereliction

It appears that the Houthis benefited from the control imposed by the Islah-affiliated governmental forces’ on Shabwa, as the Houthis advancement towards Bayhan is in favour of both sides, because the Houthis aspire to return to Bayhan which was part of their previous influence in Shabwa before liberation. On the Other hand, the governmental forces want to press the STC due to this threat against the southern governorate, which may cause the failure of the Riyadh Agreement.

The governmental forces, affiliated with the Islah, had sent military reinforcements from Marib to Shoqra, while they had not sent any reinforcements to the fighting fronts against the Houthis. The Hadi government’s policy in Shabwa, since controlling it in late August 2019 became clear through attacking the Shabwani Elite.

Fadhel Al Gadi, the STC Assistant Secretary General, tweeted that: “while the Houthis have advanced towards Bayhan, the Hadi Forces, affiliated with the Islah, are preoccupied by Shoqra reinforcement, a clear scenario to everyone with insight, that South is the common goal.”

According to Observers. The Shabwa demonstration, called by the STC, in 7-7- “Yom Al Ard” memory confused the other party of the Riyadh Agreement who cracked down peaceful protesters, under the pretext of “Undermining public security”.

The Houthis, according to analysts, have exploited the raging dispute between the Riyadh Agreement two parties, which has enhanced the Houthis’ hopes to return to South, amid the dereliction of Hadi Forces, affiliated to the Islah, while the STC became the only targeted party which defends South.

Yafa Front

The Houthi incursion, from the Southern governorate of Al Bayda’ constitutes also a threat against Yafa District in South Yemen, as the armed Southern Forces thwarted a Houthi infiltration attempt today, at Wadi Al Madhbi, towards Berman in Alhad area of Yafa.

Speaking with “South24”, sources confirmed the damages that affected a Houthi- affiliated group, as the clashes resulted in killing 5 Houthi elements, while Soldier Fares Al Shawhaty Al Yafaee, of the Southern Forces, was killed.

Local sources indicated that a number of mortar and artillery shells fell in the villages near the Berman areas of Al Had District in Lahij, and “Al Heddiq” in the Sibah District in Abyan.

The sources confirmed that there have been no casualties among civilians, and that the Houthis Attack was met with two battalion enforcements of the “Back and Support Forces” in Al Had District, as well as a third battalion which headed towards Sibah to secure the Yafa border strip.

- South24 Center
- Photo: A map from Google showing the distance from "Aqabat Al-Qunthaa" in Al-Bayda, which was controlled by the Houthis, to the city of Baihan in Shabwa Governorate, South Yemen (South24)

South Yemen Houthis Shabwa Yafa