THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Catherine Shakdam – Tribal and security sources have confirmed on Saturday that dozens of Houthi militants were killed in Central Yemen, where they have been battling against Al Qaeda for since October.
The Houthis who have advanced from their stronghold in northern Sa’ada, well into al Qaeda territory into Al Baydha and Ibb – areas which fall under the control of some Al Islah most radicals elements – have found themselves very much alone in their fight to cleanse Yemen from all radicals.
Often labelled as Shia rebels by the media, the Houthis have been portrayed as a political and religious anomaly, a small faction which carries little traction.
But as time has passed, it has become increasingly clear that this so-called rebel group has taken on Yemen’s military responsibility by challenging Al Qaeda on its turf.
The Houthis began their crusade against Sunni fanatics back in late October 2013, when they raised Dar Al Hadith, a Salafi centre which was being used as a training camp for wannabe jihadists.
Sources close to the Houthis explained that on Saturday Al Qaeda elements open fire on Houthi operatives in Radaa, a city located some 150 km south of the capital, Sana’a.
It is important to note that if the Houthis have benefited from some military backup over the past weeks, President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi has failed so far to mobilize his troops and address the immediate terror which the country now faces.