Source: Yemen Times
Houthi rebels and military forces reportedly clashed in Amran on Saturday, breaking a ceasefire agreement in effect since June 4, according to local sources.
An independent source in Al-Janat city of Amran, who requested not to be named due to security concerns, said Houthis who are in control of some areas of Al-Mehshash mountain “started the firing” against military forces of the 310th Armored Brigade positioned on the mountain.
Faysal Al-Shulaif, a former member of the presidential committee tasked with establishing peace in Amran, said local sources in Amran told him that Houthi forces set up artillery on the mountain and shelled army positions.
The Yemen Times attempted to contact the security chief of Amran, Brigadier General Mohammed Turaiq, but received no response. The government has not released any official info about Saturday’s alleged breach of contract.
The ceasefire was mediated by the Ministry of Defense on June 4, following sporadic fighting since mid-May between the 310th Armored Brigade and the Houthis.
Khaled Zabara, acting manager of Amran Hospital, said the hospital received no casualties during the latest gunfights in Amran.
People in Amran continue to flee their homes in fear of renewed fighting, Zabara said.
The Political Council of the Houthis issued a press statement on their news website, ansaruallah.com, accusing “militias of the Islah party of breaching the ceasefire agreement by setting up armed checkpoints along the Sana’a-Amran road and bringing in new militants.”
The independent source contacted by the Yemen Times said Islah does not control any checkpoints and only those run by the Houthis remain in place. The source said that checkpoints of the 310th Armored Brigade were replaced by Military Police checkpoints—a requirement of the ceasefire deal.
The Houthis, a heavily armed insurgent group based in Sa’ada, have engaged in six rounds of fighting with the army between 2004 and 2010. In March 2011, they seized Sa’ada and expelled its governor.
The Houthis since then have expanded their military capabilities outside Sa’ada, particularly in the neighboring governorates of Amran, Hajja, and Al-Jawf, but have faced opposition from tribesmen in these areas.