By Nasser Arrabyee /08/12/2009
The Yemeni fighter jets struck Al Houthi rebels in Al Zaher area in the neighboring province of Al Jawf where fleeing rebels try to open a new front against the Yemeni and Saudi forces, said sources Tuesday.
The air strikes, launched late after noon Tuesday, destroyed the 3-floor house of the tribal sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hamtan, in which the fugitive rebels had meetings, the sources said.
The military sources said all rebels in the house were killed by the raids.
Eyewitness said they saw dead bodies of women and children under the rubbles of the destroyed house.
The house lies in the village of AlSa'amoom, in the district of Al Zaher, which is only about 60 km east of the main frontline of Harf Sufyan. Many people and tribal sheikhs in this area are cooperating with the rebels not necessarily for sectarian reasons but only to anger the government which they accuse of ignoring them.
The owner of the house which was destroyed tonight, sheikh Hassan Abdullah Hamtan has three sons fighting with Al Houthi rebels.
"Sheikh Hamtan himself is not fighting with the rebels but his sons are, and he said many times to the government officials he cannot prevent the armed people in his tribes from fighting with the rebels," said a tribal sheikh from Al Jawf on condition of anonymity.
All kinds of supply to the rebels come from Al Zaher area which is close to Sa'ada and Harf Sufyan.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement that five fleeing rebels were arrested Tuesday in the district of Al Zaher. The statement mentioned the five men by names, from which it was clear the detainees were not from Al Jawf province.
The air strikes also targeted late Tuesday a group of rebels led by Abdu Naji Abu Rass in the area of Barat Al Anan in Al Jawf province.
The military sources said the air raids destroyed the hideout of the rebels killing and injuring several of them.
Air strikes on Al Jawf hideouts continued until late at night on Tuesday.