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Yemen: Prominent Houthi Military Leader Defects in Hodeidah

Yemen: Prominent Houthi Military Leader Defects in Hodeidah

Sunday, 24 June, 2018 - 08:00
Armed Houthi fighters shout slogans during a demonstration in support of the militia in Sanaa March 6, 2015. (File Photo: Reuters /Khaled Abdullah)

A high military commander loyal to Houthi militias in Hodeidah and the West Coast defected and joined the forces of legitimacy, according to reports. This comes as the last days witnessed several defeats for Houthi field commanders on different fronts, as a result of battles and air strikes of the coalition to support the legitimacy.

Meanwhile, a large number of the group’s injured militants arrived in hospitals, prompting officialsto transfer government offices to additional hospitals to accommodate to all those in need of medical attention.

In this context, military sources in the West Coast front reported on Saturday that the prominent military commander appointed by Houthis, of the fifth military district in Hodeidah, Major General Said Abu Bakr Hariri, had left the group after he realized that it will soon be over for them in Hodeidah and the West Coast. Hariri announced that he joined the government forces’ ranks.

Sources did not reveal further details, however they indicated that Hariri contacted the leadership of al-Amaleqa brigades in the West Coast about leaving Houthi group. Governmental forces welcomed his decision and coordinated with him an escape plan before reaching a safe place under its control.

Hariri is a southern leader who joined Houthi militias three years ago before being appointed commander of its fifth military district in Hodeidah.

In the meantime, field sources quoted statements by the commander of the Western Coast Front and the leader of Amaleqa brigades, Abu Zarah al-Muhrami, in which he said that the brigades welcome all dissidents from militias, calling on all leaders loyal to the Houthi group to quickly leave their forces before it is too late.

Muhrami also called on the fighters with militias to hand over Hodeidah peacefully and rid the cityof the injustice and tyranny of the group, which, according to him, seeks to create chaos by killing, destructing, and destroying the structures of the civil state.

The commander confirmed that Amaleqa brigades, part of Yemeni legitimacy and backed by the Coalition supporting it, are engaged in fierce battles and are aware that many leaders and followers of the Houthis had been deceived, indicating that they are all ready to welcome any defector.

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