Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi appointed on Friday Commander of the Joint Operations General Sagheer bin Aziz as Chief of Staff, promoting him to Lieutenant General.
He succeeds Abdullah Salem al-Nakhai
His appointment coincides with the intensification of fighting between the army and Iran-backed Houthi militias on the Nihm, al-Jawf and Sarwah fronts.
Bin Aziz previously acted as head of the government team at the redeployment committee in Hodeidah. Hadi appointed him commander of the joint operations in July.
Bin Aziz is a member of parliament and prominent member of the General People’s Congress. He is also a former member of the Republican Guard, which he joined in 1983.
He had waged numerous battles of the so-called six wars against the Houthi rebellion since 2004. The Houthis destroyed his home Harf Sufyan and displaced his relatives.
In one of his latest statements, bin Aziz vowed that operations against the Houthis will continue on various fronts.
Observers believe that bin Aziz’s field successes and repelling of major Houthi offensives towards Marib al-Jawf drove Hadi to appoint him as chief of staff.
Yemeni journalist Yehya al-Abed said the appointment was a positive step in bringing together republican parties and confronting attempts to undermine military efforts against the Houthis.
He highlighted bin Aziz’s significant record against the Houthis, since the days of the six wars, and his national heroics, the latest of which took place during the recent Nihm and Jawf battles.
Moreover, he noted that bin Aziz enjoys close ties with all military units and commands, which will help boost the army and speed up military operations against the Houthis.
Bin Aziz boasts both a military and political career in Yemen. He is a member of parliament and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
He earned his first military rank – lieutenant - in 1990. He rose to the rank of brigadier-general in 2007. He served under Tariq bin Ziad of the Republic Guard during the term of late former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Bin Aziz is among the founding members of the General People’s Congress in the Harf Sufyan district, which later motivated him to pursue politics. He was elected to parliament in 1997 and re-elected to the current parliament in 2003.