Whoever does not withdraw will be bombed.. Why did the UAE-backed forces hand over the western coast of Hodeidah to the Houthis?

without notice or warning; The military leaders of the Giants Brigades and the Tihama Resistance, affiliated with the joint forces backed by the UAE, received orders to withdraw from their positions on the western coast of Yemen, causing confusion and chaos among the soldiers, who fought fiercely for 3 years to control Hodeidah.

Muhammad Noman, a soldier in the Giants Brigades, did not understand the withdrawal orders after 3 years of fierce battles against the Houthi forces, during which they made progress on the outskirts of the strategic city of Hodeidah on the Red Sea, and were close to storming it.

Noman tells Al Jazeera Net that he and his colleagues feel regret and “betrayal of the martyrs and the wounded,” and continues, “Imagine that we did not know about the withdrawal process until yesterday, Friday, what happened was a defeat according to all military norms. We handed over all that we gained during 3 years to the enemy in just one day.”

The joint forces retreated from the western coast, and Abdullah Al-Ajam – one of the leaders of the Zaraniq Brigades – told Al Jazeera Net that the Houthis had taken control of the “Kilo 16” area, the “Al-Durayhimi”, “Al-Tahita” districts, the “Al-Fazah”, “Al-Jabliah”, “Al-Tur” and “Al-Tur” districts. “Al-Jah” in full, after the withdrawal of the joint forces.

He explained that dozens of soldiers from the Zaraniq forces and the Tihama Resistance, belonging to the western coast regions, were killed and captured during the battles after they refused to withdraw.

A conspiracy to surrender the coast

Wadah Al-Dubaish, a spokesman for the joint forces, only commented to Al-Jazeera Net with the statement issued by his forces, in which she said that they had evacuated combat areas in accordance with the Stockholm Agreement reached by the Yemeni government and the Houthis at the end of 2018 under the auspices of the United Nations, and which stipulates the redeployment of the forces of both parties.

The statement explained that the joint forces saw that they remain besieged in defensive barricades forbidden by war, by an international decision – while the various fronts require support in all forms – a wrong thing, noting that they will rearrange their ranks and start fighting battles against the Houthis.

But Al-Ajam says that what happened is a big conspiracy in which the cities and towns of the West Coast were handed over, noting that the joint forces’ talk about the repositioning “is an outright lie and deception of the fighters that caused the deaths of dozens of martyrs and prisoners.”

According to Al-Ajam, an Emirati decision stipulated handing over all of the western coast to the Houthis, and that talks are now taking place to hand over the cities of Hays and Al-Khokha, up to the Mushaj area, as it is the last administratively affiliated area to Al-Hodeidah Governorate.

Withdrawal without agreement

On the other hand, Hamid Assem, a member of the Houthi delegation to the Stockholm negotiations, said that the withdrawal had nothing to do with the agreement, as the agreement was clear and specific and did not provide for the withdrawal of the other party to the city of Khokha, which is about 110 kilometers from Hodeidah.

He added to Al-Jazeera Net, “It is true that there were attacks from our forces, but the withdrawal gives a perception that perhaps another battle is being prepared in another place, but in any case, our forces achieved victory and regained tens of kilometers.”

On the accusations that their forces violated the Stockholm Agreement, Assem said that the restored land is Yemeni lands and that the Yemenis will not abandon their country, he said.

shocking withdrawal

For his part, a senior official in the joint forces told Al Jazeera Net – preferring to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to speak to the media – that the decision to withdraw was shocking and surprising to the commanders of the military brigades, and was taken away from them, and none of them had prior knowledge of the operation taken by the command of the forces. Single joint.

He added that some commanders did not know about the decision to withdraw until last night, “the military columns were leaving while others came back in a chaotic and absurd scene,” adding that the brigade commanders are in an unenviable position in front of their forces, from which there were dead and wounded.

The joint forces are a military entity that included military formations on the western coast in mid-2019 led by an Emirati officer named Abu Omar, before being handed over to Major General Haitham Qassem Taher, but Tariq Saleh – nephew of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and leader of the national resistance established by the Emirates – recently emerged as its operational leader.

dead and captured

According to al-Ajam, when the Houthis took control of cities and towns, they began searching with their loyalists for those affiliated with the Tuhami and Zaraniq brigades, and captured dozens of those who refused to kill him inside his home.

On the situation of civilians, Al-Ajam said that dozens had left their homes.

According to preliminary estimates of the Executive Unit for the displaced in Hodeidah; About 450 families were displaced to the city of Al-Khokha, and a camp was set up for them, but it was not sufficient to accommodate the displaced.

On the other hand, dozens of people in the city of Hodeidah expressed their happiness with the withdrawal of the joint forces and the reopening of the “Kilo 16” road, which is the main port of the city, and by closing it, the city was almost besieged for 3 years.

According to the official in the joint forces, the Houthis used the coast guard forces from the Salif port (north of Hodeidah) and Kamaran island (west of Yemen) and tribal militias loyal to them to cover the sites from which the joint forces withdrew, because most of their forces launch an attack on Marib.

The official confirmed that they have confirmed information that the Houthis are preparing to attack the city of Al-Khoukha, and then the city of Mocha, which is administratively affiliated to Taiz Governorate and is the headquarters of the joint forces.

bomb threat

For his part, a source in the Giants Brigades told Al Jazeera Net that the orders had reached the leaders of the four brigades, in addition to the leaders of the Third Brigade, the First Brigade, Tihama and the Zaraniq Brigade, to withdraw, and pave the way for the work of a safe area without any explanation, and said that the forces that refused to withdraw were threatened with bombing by air, adding, “We We don’t know what’s going on and we’re just trying to save our troops.”

He continued – in response to a question about who would bomb them – and he said, “Surely who will bomb us, non-Emiratis?! The Emiratis are in control of the leadership of the joint forces and they told us frankly, and Haitham Qassem Taher only implements what they say, imagine more than 4 thousand soldiers from the giants brigades were martyred since the beginning of the war Now their sacrifices are in vain.

For his part, the Yemeni government team in the Redeployment Coordination Committee that was formed after the Stockholm Agreement said in a statement that what is currently happening on the western coast of the redeployment of forces is taking place without the knowledge of the government team and without any prior coordination with it.

In this context, the United Nations Mission in Hodeidah said that it is coordinating between the parties to reach the facts about the situation in Hodeidah, and added that it had no prior knowledge of the withdrawal of the joint forces from the city.

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