SANA’A (Dispatches) – More major Yemeni tribes have made non-aggression deals with the Yemeni army troops and allies as they are advancing in the strategic central province of Ma’rib.
Elders from Ubaidah, Murad, Jahm and Jadaan tribes took the decision as the Yemeni armed forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees are pulling the plug on Saudi mercenaries loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur in Ma’rib, Lebanese Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper, citing local sources, reported.
A number of senior sheikhs from Ma’rib, whose tribes have struck peace deals with Yemen’s Sana’a-based National Salvation Government, held a meeting in the capital and stressed the need for the liberation of the region.
"Yemeni people are utterly resolute to liberate Ma’rib, no matter how loudly the Saudi-Emirati alliance would cry foul. The liberation of Ma’rib will be achieved by its local residents. Those fighting within the ranks of [the al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafist] Islah Party must renounce violence,” Sheikh Naji al-Masri from Jahm tribe said.
Over the past few weeks, Ma’rib has been the scene of large-scale operations by Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters, who are pushing against Saudi-backed militants loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Yemeni Information Minister Dhaifallah al-Shami has said the liberation of Ma’rib would mark the end of the Saudi-led aggression.
The Yemeni government says it will not accept disingenuous attempts at peace, urging the United States and Britain to drop their support for the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen before encouraging an end to the war.
Addressing the participants in a rally against the Saudi-led war on and siege of Yemen in the capital, Sana’a, on Friday, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, stressed that the Yemeni people would continue to defend their "homeland and dignity.”
On the battle of Ma’rib, he stressed that the people of the province were loyal to the Sana’a government.
"Saudi Arabia has to defend itself within its borders and not in Ma’rib,” al-Houthi said.
He stressed that the U.S. and Britain must stop their military support for the Saudi-led coalition of aggressors for the sake of peace in Yemen.
"If [U.S. President Joe] Biden wants peace, he should withdraw his experts who are leading the battle in Ma’rib, and the British should stop arming the planes that are targeting our children in Ma’rib and on various fronts,” al-Houthi said.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched the brutal war against Yemen in March 2015.
The war was meant to eliminate Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and restore the former Riyadh-backed regime of Hadi to power.
The U.S.-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives.
In another development, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sent another batch of military equipment to separatist militias on the Yemeni island of Socotra, a local governor has revealed.
Socotra Governor Ramzi Mahrous on Thursday posted on Facebook that an Emirati ship unloaded military vehicles at Socotra port "in a clear attempt to obstruct the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.”
Emirati-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) militants took control of Socotra Island’s capital Hadiboh last June, expelling from it the municipal authority’s leadership, following clashes with Saudi-backed forces.
The UAE has long had its sights set on Socotra island, seeking to establish a military presence there to bolster its sphere of influence along the Gulf of Aden and Bab El-Mandeb Strait.