Houthis Transform Sanaa Mountains to Weapon Caches
Yemeni army sources reported on Houthi militias using the mountainous terrain surrounding Sanaa to store ballistic missiles and drones the group acquired post-coup or that are smuggled into Yemen from Iran.
Although Arab Coalition air raids have limited the Houthis’ ability to use their stock of weapons, the Iran-backed group continues to move parts of its long-range missiles to Hamdan, a neighborhood in Sanaa’s western suburbs, where launch pads are present.
Houthis have also transferred some parts to Amran and Saadah governorates where there are launch pads directed at Yemeni cities and Saudi lands.
Two former Yemeni officers, speaking under the conditions of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat about the nature of the large mountain warehouses that were created during the rule of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh with the help of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
These warehouses were created in the Faj Atan highlands southwest of Sanaa.
According to more information relayed by the two officers, other weapon depots were established at the bottom of al-Nahdayn heights which overlook the presidential compound south of Sanaa. There, Houthis keep their scud ballistic missiles they bought from North Korea alongside other short-range Russian missiles and launch pads.
As for Naqm mountain, east of Sanaa, the officers said its caves have been used to store weapons and fuel since the 60s.
The two military sources indicated that after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Washington allowed a number of senior Iraqi army officers to move to reside in Yemen, as the late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh appointed most of them advisers and trainers for the Republican Guard.
Iraqi officers played a role in developing and expanding mountain warehouses because they can be hardly hit by airstrikes. More so, destroying these warehouses will result in a humanitarian disaster because they are located near densely populated areas.