Coalition Deploys New Units that Undermine the Islah party


Tue, 08-02-2022 06:16 PM, Aden

Aden (South24) 

Military and government sources told Reuters that the Saudi-led Coalition has deployed newly formed units near Yemen's Marib where battles have abated.

It was not immediately clear if the move paves the way for Southern fighters to return to positions on the western coast, but it further weakens the hold of the Islamist Islah Party that had dominated pro-coalition units in Marib.," the agency said.

According to a report published by Reuters on Tuesday, this comes as the two warring sides hold their positions in the fight for energy-rich areas that has led to the war's biggest escalation in years.

Over the past month, the Iran-aligned Houthi movement last month responded to losses in Shabwa and Marib at the hand of Emirati-backed forces with unprecedented assaults on alliance member the United Arab Emirates, dealing a fresh blow to stalled peace efforts.

Marib, according to the agency, is of vital importance as it is the internationally recognised government's last stronghold in North Yemen, and the country's sole gas producing region with one of its largest oilfields.

The agency reported, citing three military sources, that the UAE-backed Giants Brigade, Southern Salafi Sunni Muslim fighters, have halted their advance in Marib after penetrating a Houthi cordon around the main city and securing the route to oil-rich Shabwa in [… South].

"The coalition in January sent the Giants Brigade to main front lines after Houthi advances following years of stalemate, during which the UAE in 2019 largely reduced its presence" the agency added. 

Reuters quoted two government sources as saying that last week the coalition deployed new units comprised of northern tribal and Salafi fighters, named the 'Happy Yemen Brigades', near Marib, two government sources said, in a restructuring of local forces battling the Shi'ite Houthis.

According to the agency, "so far the new brigade has not entered Marib and is battling Houthi forces holding the Harad border crossing area between Yemen and Saudi Arabia that has been shut since 2015, when the coalition intervened in Yemen".

Al-Arabiya TV channel released footage from the city of Haradh, reporting that the "Happy Yemen Brigades" were able to advance in them. The channel conducted an interview with what it described as "the commander of the Al-Isnad (Support) Battalion in the Happy Yemen Brigades, Lt. Col. Abdulqawi Al-Haslani." Al-Hasalani said that they had taken control of the "wrecked camp" and "completely" surrounded the district.

The pro-government forces which is controlled by the Islah party, were previously accused of "collusion" with the Houthis, after the Houthis took control of large areas in the governorates of Al-Jawf, Marib and Shabwa during the past years and months without resistance.

It seems that the Saudi-led Coalition resorted to the method followed by the UAE alone during the past years, when it trained disciplined security and military forces in South, which played a prominent role in confronting the Houthis and extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS, while the government "national army" supported by Saudi Arabia did not achieve any tangible military achievements.

Since 2015, Yemen has been witnessing a civil war that has caused tens of thousands of victims and deepened the humanitarian and economic crisis in the impoverished country. 

Source: Reuters, South24
Photo: Commander of Al-Isnad Battalion in the "Happy Yemen Brigades", Lt. Col. Abdulqawi Al-Haslani, speaking to Al-Arabiya TV (screenshot - South24)

Happy Yemen BrigadesShabwaMaribSTCIslahYemeni GovernmentSouth Yemen