Renewed clashes between Houthi and Salafi fighters
Nadia Al-Sakkaf (photographer), Mohammed bin Sallam & Agencies (author)
“Intermittent clashes between the Houthi militias and tribal men broke out late on Saturday night and Sunday morning in Souq Ahem near the Technical Institute,” said a source, adding that a variety of weapons were used.
At least 14 tribesmen were reported killed while Houthis casualties could not be confirmed, though tens of injured men from both sides were reported by tribal sources.
Some of the injured were transported all the way to Jaizan hospital on the Saudi border, which said it has already received 25 Yemenis and was treating them on humanitarian grounds.
The area of Al-Mashbah also witnessed confrontations that lasted 18 hours, according to locals.
But fierce fighting had also been witnessed on Friday, with violent clashes in Ahem and Al-Jirabi, in which dozens were killed on both sides.
Media sources said that Houthi fighters received reinforcements from Sa’ada and began planting landmines in occupied areas, resulting in the deaths of five people in recent days.
Zaid Arjash, spokesman of the Hajoor tribes in Hajja, reviewed a number of humanitarian violations committed against the Kushar tribe, pointing out that both food and drinking water has begun to run out as a result of sieges imposed by the Houthi fighters and a blockade of the main road linking the tribes.
“The Houthis are expanding at our expense and trying to dominate the entire region,” he said to media.
He added that many civilians had been killed by Houthi snipers hidden inside the Technical Institute.
However, Saleh Habra, a Houthi spokesman, claimed that most of the reports were exaggerated and motivated by Saudis and Salafis from the UAE who hold grudges against the Houthis.
“They want to kick us out of anywhere we stay, they have already taken over 250 of our mosques and brought in Yemenis from other governorates such as Shabwa and Abyan to fight us,” he said.
In Sa’ada governorate, one soldier of the 131 Infantry Brigade positioned in Kitaf was killed and two others wounded as Houthi fighters launched strikes against them on Thursday, confirmed by Colonel Amer Al-Assad, Operations Chief of the 131 Infantry Brigade.
Al-Assad dubbed the Houthis as criminals, saying that the soldiers were simply bringing food supplies to the brigade located in the north of Sa’ada, on the border of Saudi Arabia. He added that investigations are still underway to determine exactly what happened.
This was the second incident within 10 days as unpaid soldiers protested in front of the government compound in Sa’ada, demanding their salaries.
Violent clashes have been ongoing between the Kitaf tribes and the Houthis for months.