The head of the Arab Century Center for Studies, based in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Saad bin Omar, told Al-Hurra that the group has “professional” combat skills and is one of the best forces on the ground currently fighting the Houthis within the “national army”.
The Houthi group had announced during the past few days that it would “escalate against the UAE”, following the “Giant Brigades” control of the city of Shabwa.
On Monday, three people were killed and six others were injured in a blast It happened in three fuel tanks in Abu Dhabi, likely caused by “unmanned aircraft”, while the Houthis announced a “qualitative military operation” in the UAE.
While the UAE authorities condemned “the Houthi terrorist militia’s targeting of civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil, and stressed that this sinful targeting will not go unpunished,” Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition in Yemen, condemned what it described as a “cowardly terrorist attack,” noting that the Houthis They stand behind him.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, condemnedThe Houthi militia targeted civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil, and stressed that this sinful targeting will not go unpunished.
On the other hand, the military spokesman for the rebels, Yahya Saree, said in a tweet on “Twitter”, that the Houthis will announce “in the coming hours” a “qualitative military operation in the depth of the UAE”, without details.
In Sanaa, political advisor in the Houthi “government”, Abdul Ilah Hajar, told AFP: “We have previously sent warning messages to the UAE that if it does not stop its support for the mercenaries…and those who are mobilizing in Marib, Al-Bayda and Shabwa, we will have a response.”
It seems that the spokesman was referring to the “Giant Brigades” that expelled the Houthi forces from Shabwa recently and entered the areas of Marib, which are supported by the UAE, according to AFP.
The “Giant Brigades” were established in late 2015 in the West Coast region, and included at least 15,000 fighters, according to the agency, he said. Relief Web site According to the United Nations, it consists of about 20,000 to 28,000 fighters.
He points out that it is the largest group within what is known as the “National Resistance Forces” led by Brigadier General Tariq Saleh, which includes three parts: “The Giants Brigade”, “Guardians of the Republic”, and the Tihama Brigades.
Saad bin Omar told Al-Hurra that its members mostly belong to the southern and central regions, and most of them are from the southern regions, but they do not belong to the Southern Transitional Council, and its leaders are somewhat independent.
The “Relief Web” website says that the majority of its members are southern Yemenis, and most of them are Salafis, including elements expelled by the Houthis from Saada in 2014 and tribesmen from the Yafa region.
The group played an important fighting role in confronting the Houthi rebels along the 300 km western coastal strip, from Bab al-Mandeb to Hodeidah on the Red Sea coast.
Saad bin Omar says that she participated in the Hodeidah battles before the Stockholm Agreement was signed about three years ago.
Bin Omar added to Al-Hurra that they are the best forces present in the Yemeni arena, noting that they “have high training, speed of movement, coordination and very good armament.”
He said that it had been fighting for a long time on the western coast with the forces of Brigadier General Tariq Saleh, then withdrew within the tactical withdrawal two months ago from the coastal areas to fight its last battles within the “national army” that is clashing with the Houthis.
On January 10, the “Giant Brigades” announced the restoration of control over the oil-rich Shabwa governorate in the north of the country, from the Houthis, who have already controlled large areas in the north and west of the country, as well as the capital, Sanaa, since 2014.
Officials told Reuters that the Yemeni government, with the help of the group and strikes by the Saudi-led coalition, recaptured the entire Shabwa governorate in a 10-day battle.
The governor of the province, Awad Al-Awlaki, announced the “liberation of Shabwa,” thanking Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, which fund the coalition.
Since last February, the Houthis have been fighting the pro-government forces that control the city of Marib, the center of the province of the same name, with the aim of reaching the city.
After it succeeded in its mission in Shabwa, the “Giant Brigades” entered the Harib area in the Marib governorate of strategic and economic importance, after the rebels had taken control of it in September as part of their attack on the city of Ma’rib.
The United Nations website report indicates that the “giants” enjoy strong support from the Emirates, which has provided them with funds and military equipment since at least 2015.
Although the UAE largely ended its military presence on the ground in 2019, it continues to control through the Yemeni forces that it armed and trained.
Tariq Saleh had expressed his solidarity with the UAE after the recent attack, saying: “Al-Houthi continues to harm Yemen and Yemenis. If he wins, he blows up our homes and arrests our people, and if he is defeated, he sends his suicide tools against brothers and friends.”
A Yemeni official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the “Giant Brigades” had spread in Shabwa after replacing the pro-government governor, a member of the Islamist Islah party, which the UAE does not trust, two weeks ago.
The Yemeni political analyst, Abdel Nasser Al-Mouda’, spoke in Previous articleAl-Hurra website On the “large and important role (in the war) of the UAE, as it manages many active forces, the most important of which are the giants, which are the spearhead in the battle of the West Coast, which reached the outskirts of Hodeidah.”
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