Visit ArabTopics.com

Human Rights Violations by Saudi-Coalition Mercenaries Spark Mass Mobilization of Volunteer Fighters to Yemen’s Southwest

Backil al-Shimi is one of the thousands of Yemenis from the Amran governorate that volunteered to join a group of Yemeni civilians fighting alongside Ansar Allah (Houthi) fighters this week. “I am not ready to see my sons die from famine or malnutrition” al-Shimi, a father of eight told MintPress. Hailing from the village of al Shim, 45 km south Sanaa, al-Shimi participated in a fierce battle to retake control of the city of al Jah, 20 km south of Hodeida, after it was taken by Saudi coalition fighters in a recent attack.

The Saudi-led coalition, unable to secure control of the strategic port city of Hodeida, has recently flooded the cities and towns surrounding Hodeida with foreign and indigenous mercenaries, hoping to bring the port city to its knees by taking control of the surrounding region.

Huge numbers of Yemeni residents, sparked by reports of human rights violations, have responded by taking to the battlefield in the largest draw of volunteer fighters since the U.S.-backed Saudi coalition began its offensive on the strategic port of Hodeida three weeks ago. A Houthi military field commander told MinPress that over 5,000 fighters have mobilized in the cities of al Jah and Tuheita, and an additional 3,000 are on standby.

On June 24, volunteer fighters supported by the Houthis expelled Saudi-led coalition fighters, as well as the mercenaries under their employ, from the cities of al Jah and al Fazah, south of Hodeida. Fighters danced in the streets to the sounds of traditional Yemeni music called Zamah and celebrated their victory amidst the rubble of burned out coalition military vehicles.

The retaking of al Jah has effectively cut the supply lines used by the Saudi-led coalition to transfer weapons and reinforcements to Yemen’s western coast and left Saudi and UAE forces in the north surrounded with no outlet save the Red Sea.

The road to al Jah remains challenging. An endless barrage of coalition airstrikes has made driving it extremely difficult and the bodies of Saudi coalition fighters, killed in violent clashes over the past three days, litter the roadway.  Most of the coalition fighters killed in the battle were mercenaries from across Yemen according to the identification cards recovered from their bodies, but the bodies of fighters from as far away as Sudan have turned up at local hospitals.  A source inside Yemen’s military confirmed that over 1,300 mercenaries, including commanders, have been killed during the past three weeks of heavy fighting on Yemen’s southwest coast.

Reports of human rights violations committed by Saudi-led coalition mercenaries sparked an uproar across Yemen, contributing in large part to the mass mobilization of volunteer fighters to the country’s southwest. Saudi Arabia and its allies have relied heavily upon paid mercenaries and foreign fighters in their war on Yemen, relegating their own troops to carrying out airstrikes, protecting Saudi Arabia’s vulnerable southern border, and commanding the myriad of mercenary forces employed by the coalition.

Amongst the most notorious groups fighting on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition are the Giant’s Brigade and the Tariq Force, both a hodgepodge of indigenous Yemeni groups with ever-shifting alliances and a propensity for extra-judicial killings and looting. The groups share the same Wahhabi ideology as radical Islamist organizations in the region such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).  Wahhabism is also the extremist branch of Sunni Islam adopted as the official state religion by Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with MintPress News, Ahmed Abdu Zaid, a 50-year-old Brigadier General of the Tariq Forces who would later defect to the Houthis, said he witnessed Saudi coalition mercenaries, “taking over and looting people’s homes and hurling bodies into the sea.” Abdu Zaid, who in the past has appeared on the UAE’s Sky News as a coalition leader, turned himself over to Houthi security forces shortly after speaking with MintPress, saying before he left, “what they were doing is a crime. I couldn’t bear it.”

Ahmed Abdu Zaid Yemen coalition

A composite image showing Ahmed Abdu Zaid during an appearance on Sky News (left) and shortly after his interview with MintPress News (right).

Abdu Zaid also said that many of the Saudi-led coalition’s purported battlefield victories were either inflated or outright false. “Our victories were fake, like when they said that all but fifty troops in the al Madhai Brigade were killed or when they said that they killed 250 fighters from the Samir al Maskri Brigade, I know what really happened in every one of those battles,” he told MintPress.

Saudi Arabia’s state-run al-Arabiya TV confirmed last Thursday that Saudi-led forces suffered huge casualties after a commander, identified as Abduh Zayd, who was close to the family of slain Yemeni former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, defected to the Houthis in Hodeida.

As has become a trademark for Wahhabi groups in the region, coalition mercenaries have also targeted many of the local historic and religious sites that dot southern Yemen. On the outskirts of the village of Fazah, along the main road near the deep blue waters of the Red Sea, a shrine to the revered Sufi saint, Sheikh Ahmed al-Fazah, the town’s namesake and a figure whose local legend has come to represent world peace, used to draw visitors from around Yemen before it was razed by the Giant’s Brigade. Coalition mercenaries harbor a particular disdain for Sufis, an offshoot of Islam focusing on mysticism and spirituality. In January of 2016, UAE-backed militants destroyed the 800-year-old tomb of Sufi scholar Sufyan bin Abdullah in the southern town of al Hota. Emirati officials claim they have no control over the actions of their surrogate forces.

According to data obtained by MintPress from the Yemen Military Media Department, over 355 coalition armored vehicles have been destroyed since the three-week long southwestern campaign began, much of the equipment destroyed by Yemen’s own Air Force. In late May, Houthi leader, Abdulmalik al Houthi, signaled a shift in strategy – calling on Yemen’s Army as well as the country’s volunteer fighters –  to “drain the enemy by targeting armored vehicles with rockets.”

The impending defeat of coalition-aligned forces in the southwest calls into question the future of the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. Despite some of the highest military expenditures in the world, Saudi Arabia and her allies are unlikely to be able to bear the brunt of heavy losses of equipment, personnel, and perhaps most importantly, morale.  Last week thousands of Yemenis staged a mass rally in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, vowing to defend Hodeida’s residents by any means necessary. Hundreds of the demonstrators reportedly left the rally en route to the frontlines.

Top Photo | Yemeni tribal forces employed by the Saudi-led coalition take position during an attack on the port city of Hodeida, Yemen, 28 June 2018. Taleb Almamari | AP

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

The post Human Rights Violations by Saudi-Coalition Mercenaries Spark Mass Mobilization of Volunteer Fighters to Yemen’s Southwest appeared first on MintPress News.

Source: 
MintPress

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Grayzone Project 17
Pass Blue 71
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 410
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 1757
FEE 3373
Marine Le Pen 236
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 573
Mohamed Omar 250
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 37
Angry Foreigner 17
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 74
Vetenskapsradion Historia 120
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 180
Les Crises 1960
Richard Falk 118
Ian Sinclair 80
SpinWatch 52
Counter Currents 6568
Kafila 364
Gail Malone 34
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 93
The Duran 6665
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 4896
Paul Craig Roberts 1195
News Junkie Post 47
Nomi Prins 24
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 3595
Sir Ken Robinson 16
Stephan Kinsella 67
Liberty Blitzkrieg 799
Sami Bedouin 61
Consortium News 2176
21 Century Wire 2974
Burning Blogger 284
Stephen Gowans 67
David D. Friedman 133
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1468
Tom Dispatch 419
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3506
The Barnes Review 477
John Friend 368
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3179
School Sucks Project 1738
Giza Death Star 1588
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 571
GMWatch 1853
Robert Faurisson 149
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 763
Le 4ème singe 87
Jacob Cohen 200
Agora Vox 11150
Cercle Des Volontaires 417
Panamza 1693
Fairewinds 103
Project Censored 723
Spy Culture 383
Conspiracy Archive 67
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 495
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 570
Independent Science News 66
The Anti Media 5666
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 259
The Mind renewed 213
Natural Society 2475
Yanis Varoufakis 822
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 65
Web of Debt 129
Porkins Policy Review 353
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 563
Libyan War Truth 280
DeadLine Live 1905
Kevin Ryan 61
BSNEWS 1978
Aaron Franz 191
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 115
Peter B Collins 1358
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9633
Climate Audit 221
Donna Laframboise 362
Judith Curry 1056
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2016
Syria Report 70
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 10251
Laura Wells Solutions 28
Video Rebel's Blog 412
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 18009
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2683
Northerntruthseeker 2067
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4624
AntiWar.com Blog 2713
AntiWar.com Original Content 6172
Corbett Report 2098
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1111
Webster Tarpley Website 956

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public