The one detail sources agree on is that Chief-of-Staff Col. Ahd Al-Shabuti died in an explosion
Conflicting accounts over senior commander's death in Hodeidah
Conflicting narratives have emerged about the circumstances surrounding the death of a senior government commander on Wednesday.
According to one account, Col. Ahd Al-Shabuti of the 3rd Infantry Brigade was killed along with two of his companions in fierce clashes against the Houthis in Al-Duraihimi district in southern Hodeidah governorate on Yemen’s Red Sea coast.
A Houthi-fired mortar shell hit the vehicle Al-Shabuti was traveling in and killed all three of the men instantly, a government military official said, noting that pro-government forces repelled the Houthi offensive during the hours-long battle.
The UAE-backed Giants Brigades media center said Al-Shabuti was killed in the explosion of a Houthi kamikaze drone east of the city of Al-Duraihimi.
The Giants Brigades, which have fought alongside pro-government forces against the Houthis on the Red Sea coast, are composed of Salafi and tribal fighters from southern governorates.
Sources close to Al-Shabuti in his hometown of Aden offered a third perspective. They said that artillery shells in his car exploded as he was driving at high speed on a bumpy road.
Al-Shabuti confronted the Houthis when they seized Aden in 2015. He was appointed as chief-staff of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, which was formed in Aden under Salafi Brig. Gen. Bassam Al-Mihdhar.
After the government forces dislodged the Houthis from Al-Tahita district in Hodeidah in mid-2018, Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi asked Al-Shabuti to move the brigade from Aden to Al-Duraihimi district. The colonel helped liberate parts of the district after moving there.