comments have been disabled.
YEMEN - Two field leaders of the al-Houthi rebels were killed in confrontations between the rebels and government troops in Harf Sufyan, in the Amran province, local sources said Sunday.
Muhsen Hadi al-Kaoud and Saleh Garman, who are prominent al-Houthi leaders, were killed and some others were arrested, said the sources who spoke on the condition of being anonymous.
They added that about 100 dead bodies, most of whom were al-Houthi supporters, were found in and around the town of Harf Sufyan where the rebels had tried to block the road between Sa'adah and the capital, Sana'a. This was after the army completely cleaned up Harf Sufyan, located about 140 km north of Sana'a, from the rebels on Saturday.
Over the last 24 hours, fighter jets have been continuously bombarding the strongholds and hideouts of the rebels in Dhahyan, Mutrah, Naqa'a, al-Mahather, Talh and Makash.
On the al-Houthi side, the rebels used artillery to bombard the city of Sa'adah the sources said. They added that on Saturday the rebels attacked the city of Sa'adah from two directions, but the army drove them back after dozens were injured or killed in the fierce confrontations.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni government denied Iranian media allegations aired by the al-Alam channel that Yemen and Saudi Arabia had established a joint operation against al-Houthi rebels.
An official statement was made saying that these allegations reveal that those who spread lies like these are supporting the rebels of al-Houthi.
Meanwhile, the US embassy in Sana'a called on the Yemeni government and the al-Houthi rebels to return to the cease-fire agreement that was announced by President Ali Abdullah Saleh last year, as the battles in the North have intensified and military commanders say that "they are closing in on the rebels and that the end of the conflict is imminent."
"The United States Embassy in Sana'a is deeply concerned with the continuation of the armed conflict between the government of Yemen and al-Houthi rebels in the Sa'adah governorate in northern Yemen," said officials in a statement issued on Saturday by the embassy. "We call on both parties to return to the cease-fire agreement that was established last year," they admonished.
The embassy also urged the warring parties to avoid any actions that would endanger the civilian population in the affected area. "We also call on both parties to ensure the security of the local and international relief workers in the region and the safe passage of emergency relief supplies to camps housing internally displaced persons," the statement concluded.
The American statement came after President Ali Abdullah Saleh granted the al-Houthi rebels another chance for peace during the advent of Ramadan.
"We offer the saboteurs an opportunity for peace contingent on their unconditional commitment to the six conditions set forth by the Supreme Security Committee," Saleh said in a speech at the beginning of Ramadan. "If the rebels refuse the offer of peace and refuse to comply with the constitution, we will decisively confront them," Saleh said.
President Saleh will end the war if the rebels withdraw from all the districts that they control and remove all the checkpoints they have established, in addition to retreating from the mountains, and terminating their roadblocks and acts of sabotage.
The rebels have also been told to hand over all the military and civil equipment they have seized, reveal the fate of the six kidnapped foreigners, hand over the kidnapped people from Sa'adah, and stop interfering in the affairs of the local authority.
President Saleh in his address to the nation on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan Friday night affirming the government's keenness to prevent further bloodshed and to achieve unconditional peace. "You have enough time over the next few days to consider our proposal and come back to the right path and be like other citizens," said Saleh addressing the rebels.
He said that the rebels have to stick to the six conditions the government suggested before to establish peace in the region. The conditions include: lifting all road checkpoints that impede citizens’ travels, abandoning their military strongholds and coming down from the mountain peaks, handing over all civil and military equipment that they had seized, disclosing the fate of the six kidnapped foreigners, one British man and a German family, handing over the kidnapped Sa'adah citizens, and ending all interference with the local authority's affairs and full withdrawal from all Sa'adah districts and eliminating all checkpoints from all roads.
If these conditions were to be accepted by al-Houthi rebels, the government would be responsible for reconstructing all the war-damaged areas as well as paving the way for comprehensive development throughout Sa'adah, said President Saleh.
Saleh again warned al-Houthi followers against continuing rebellion and lawbreaking, assuring that security forces will face sabotaging and rebellion strictly and with all the available capabilities.
Military sources said that the army and security units are conducting cleaning up operations on rebels in several areas. According to the sources, the armed and security units have taken control of many areas which were in the hands of the rebels and are currently conducting broad combing operations in chasing those elements that fled from area to area. The army and security units are on the verge of eliminating the last pockets of rebels and achieving total control over all the areas that were controlled previously by al-Houthis, said military sources. The government refused on Thursday an initiative by some of the rebel leaders’ relatives to put an end to the war.