Yemen: Filosaudite forces and Al Qaeda united in the offensive against the Houthi rebels

(To Giampiero Venturi)

Rapid escalation of military activities in western Yemen. For some weeks now, the squeeze by the forces of the Coalition led by the Saudis to conquer the country's western cities, strongholds of former President Saleh, has been in the news.

On February 10, pro-president Hadi forces announced the occupation of the city of Mocha, a strategic Red Sea port, famous for its attacks on coalition ships (including a unit of the US Navy) and also for the historic coffee trade. At the news, repeatedly denied by sources hezbollah close to the rebels Houthi, fierce fighting followed that still lasts at this time.

Today it is not possible to establish exactly who the city belongs to, considered essential for controlling the maritime traffic that leads from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean.

The offensive on Mocha, conducted essentially by "Southern Resistance", a Sunni militia cartel armed by Saudi Arabia, is part of a broader offensive that places the entire Taiz Governorate, of which Mocha is a part, at the center. It is precisely from the capital Taiz, there are reports that Southern Resistance militiamen have joined forces with AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) in an attempt to expel the Houthi from the metropolitan area. This is not a novelty for the real. However, all the attacks have so far been repelled.

Currently, Yemen, far from being a united country, is not even divided into areas easily referable to one or the other of the two great universes that are being fought: the Sunni militias linked to President Hadi supported by Arab Saudi-led troops; the pro-Iranian Shiite Shiite rebels and other forces remained loyal to Saleh.

If in the past it was possible to make a demarcation of the two areas corresponding respectively to the former South Yemen and the former North Yemen, today the most total anarchy reigns. In Aden itself, the former capital of the South, despite the prevalence of pro Hadi forces, the situation is absolutely fluid. Clashes within the factions of the same Sunni front are reported in these hours, in the airport area.

Unconfirmed sources speak of the first slaughter of the 2017 of a Saudi fighter in the governorate of Marib. Yemen is on fire and the civilian population continues to suffer. These are the only certainties for now.

(photo: ym)

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