Demands Houthi supervisors leave, and handing over those responsible for Jihad Al-Asbahi’s killers
GPC leader threatens to mobilize Al-Baydha in fight against Houthis
On Wednesday, one of the top leaders of the General People’s Congress (GPC) party, Yasser Al-Awadhi, called on the tribes and sheikhs of Al-Baydha governorate to ready themselves to fight the Houthis if the group does not withdraw their local representatives within three days. The threat comes after Houthi fighters killed a young woman while raiding the home of a resident of Al-Baydha on Monday.
The Houthis stormed a home in search of Hussein Mohammed Al-Asbahi in Al-Baydha’s Taffah district. His daughter-in-law, Jihad Al-Asbahi, resisted the raid and was killed in the process, according to her family.
Al-Awadhi, the Assistant Secretary-General of the GPC, posted a series of tweets denouncing Houthi “supervisors” in Al-Baydha for insulting and humiliating residents, violating their rights, taking their land and demolishing their homes. Supervisors, known locally as mushref, are senior Houthi loyalists assigned to particular areas or institutions to advance the group’s interests.
“The attack on the resident’s home and the killing of a girl [during Ramadan is] a stain [not just] on these criminals but all of us if we keep silent,” Al-Awadhi said in a tweet.
Itt marks the first time a senior GPC leader has threatened the Houthis since the group killed GPC founder and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Dec. 2017. Saleh’s alliance with the Houthis cleared the way for the group to take control of Yemen’s capital Sana’a without resistance from Saleh-allied tribes.
Al-Awadhi, a prominent tribal sheikh in Al-Baydha, was close to the former president. The threat comes at a crucial time as fighting escalates on Al-Baydha’s frontlines between government forces and the Houthis. If Al-Alwadhi and Al-Baydha’s tribes retract their neutrality it would be a major setback for the Houthis, as their allegiance with government forces could threaten the Houthis’ presence in the governorate.
"The Houthi leadership has the option to either withdraw its tyrants from Al-Baydha and hand over the criminals who killed Jihad or fight us tribe to tribe. We [hope] to remain unbiased to any side, and we will not accept any alliances, [but] we have the right to [respond],” Al-Awadhi said.
The Houthis, he added, do not have a blank check in the governorate.
Al-Awadhi called for "all Al-Baydha sheikhs and their men...from all sides to be highly prepared from this moment on.
Edited by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs