Saleh’s National Resistance Forces made the arrests to secure the release of its own soldiers detained by the Giants Brigades. Tribesmen from Lahj have since tried to negotiate a prisoner swap between the UAE-backed forces.
Tariq Saleh’s forces detain six Giants Brigades’ fighters
Brig. Gen. Tariq Saleh's National Resistance Forces detained six members of the Giants Brigades (Al-Amaliqa) in the western port city of Al-Mocha on Tuesday, a source in the brigades told Almasdar Online.
The source said that the six soldiers, who belong to the Al-Aghbari tribe of Subbayha in Lahj governorate, are still being held in Al-Mocha at one of the military sites led by Saleh.
Saleh’s forces arrested four members of the same tribe two weeks ago in the nearby town of Al-Khokha. Their whereabouts remain unknown and no reason was issued for their arrest, the source said, adding that Saleh’s forces have refused any tribal or military mediation.
The relatives of the four tribesmen arrested two weeks ago then abducted four of Saleh’s soldiers, hoping to trade them.
A member of the tribe, Abdulsamae Al-Aghbari Al-Subaihi, posted on his Facebook page that the six tribesmen were recently arrested while shopping in Al-Mocha.
Al-Subaihi said the six arrested belong to the 5th and 6th Giants Brigades, noting that by detaining six people while they are doing their shopping, that Saleh’s forces are opening the door to more kidnappings.
He called on Saleh’s forces to quickly release the tribesmen and solve any issues they have through mediation.
The Giants Brigades and Saleh’s National Resistance Forces are part of the joint west coast forces, which also include the Tihama Resistance. Saleh is the nephew of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The joint forces operate under the Saudi-led coalition, specifically the UAE, and do not follow the orders of the internationally-recognized government, nor do they receive their salaries from the Yemeni Ministry of Defense.
The Giants Brigades include a mixture of Salafists and tribesmen, most of whom belong to the Subbayha and Yafe’a tribes and in Lahj governorate.
Editing by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs