Tareq Saleh Leads ‘Republican Guards’ against Houthis on Yemen’s West Coast

Tareq Saleh Leads ‘Republican Guards’ against Houthis on Yemen’s West Coast

Friday, 20 April, 2018 - 06:15
General Tareq Saleh, the nephew of slain former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Reuters)
Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat
General Tareq Saleh, the nephew of slain former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, joined the fighting against the Houthis militias in the battle for the western coast.

Saleh is leading the “Republican Guards” unit, a name he chose for his troops, who used to make up the special forces that were loyal to the late Saleh.

This development coincided with the launch of the December 2 news website that specializes in covering the field operations of this unit.

The website revealed that the Houthis threatened to kill Tareq Saleh’s detained relatives in Sanaa, who include his son, brother and cousins, but he was undeterred and insisted on joining the battle against the Iran-backed group.

Sources loyal to the General People’s Congress told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saleh’s forces breached on Thursday the Houthi frontlines at the Khalid bin al-Walid camp and Jabal al-Nar on the western coast. His forces had launched their attack from their main base in the city of al-Mokha, where they had arrived days earlier from Aden.

Observers said that their advance is aimed at covering their back from the East, by seizing Houthi positions west of Taiz, before turning north towards al-Hodeidah.

December 2 is named after the date the late Saleh announced that he severing his alliance with the Houthis and prepared to open a new chapter in ties with the Saudi-led Arab Coalition aimed at liberating Yemen. His decision ultimately cost him his life and he was killed by the Houthis on December 4.

The late Saleh’s uprising was the “spark that launched the new revolution” against the Houthis, said the website. “This uprising can only end with the recapture of Sanaa and ending the Houthi existence.”

“The national resistance forces established by General Tareq Saleh is a significant addition to the military effort to support the resistance in the South and the Arab coalition forces,” it continued.

It confirmed previous Asharq Al-Awsat reports that Tareq Saleh and his officers stripped themselves of their military ranks so that they could stand on equal footing with their soldiers.

They had vowed to restore their ranks once Yemen is liberated from the militias.

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