Yemeni Defense Minister to Asharq Al-Awsat: Houthis' Means Similar to Hezbollah Wars
Yemeni Defense Minister Major General Muhammad Ali al-Maqdashi said that the ministry of defense has decisive military plots to achieve victory and to defeat the militias and their followers, indicating that the enemy is using the gangs' wars such as sneaking to specific places, similar to the wars of Hezbollah in Lebanon, where they randomly raid inhabited regions and flee.
The minister said that this isn’t a regular army but a group of terrorists backed by Houthis.
Maqdashi told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Nihm Offensive is not as easy as the observer might expect because its geographic nature is a real challenge to the Yemeni National Army (YNA).
“How would you evaluate the balance of power between the legit forces and the Houthis,” asked the newspaper.
The minister affirmed that the balance of power is in favor of the government forces thanks to -God- and the backing of Saudi-led coalition in which the YNA controls vast regions that can't be regained by Houthis despite the potentials and weapons they were supplied with because the dogma of Houthis is based on ethical racism.
When asked about the agenda of the ministry of defense, now that he is officially assigned, Maqdashi stated that he would push ahead in plans to build armed forces to become the real guarantee of the state's stability and to eradicate terrorism.
During the past days, the ministry and the General Staff inaugurated the new training year of 2019, he continued. Maqdashi added that among the programs are establishing institutions and military colleges that go in tandem with the new federal Yemen and this has gone in progress in Aden.
The newspaper asked: “Based on your field experience and your military capacity, do you think Houthis wish to reach a real peace?”
The minister saw that peace is a demand for all Yemenis and is a quest for President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and he abides by directives of the political leadership but past experiences show that Houthis didn’t respect any deal or pledge.
Asharq Al-Awsat questioned the authenticity of criticism that there are fake names in payrolls of the army, the reply was that there was a duplication at the beginning but 90 percent of the problem was solved so far.
The newspaper asked about what obstacles hinder the investment of the popular riot in mobilizing more soldiers to enroll in the army, so he replied was that the financial aspect is a major one, but it will be overcome soon.
Commenting on the international recognition of the Yemeni legitimacy, Maqdashi said that the international support comes through the Yemeni government channels and the coalition, adding that there are constant positive reports received from the military attaches in Yemeni embassies abroad.