Top Houthi Leaders Go "Underground", Fear Deadly Coalition Attacks

Published May 22nd, 2018 - 09:00 GMT
Houthi rebels. (AFP/ File Photo)
Houthi rebels. (AFP/ File Photo)
Head of the Houthis’ so-called Supreme Political Council Mahdi Mshat has ordered members of his party to stop planning official meetings with members of the General People's Congress (GPC) including ministers from the rebel cabinet, out of safety fears, informed sources said on Monday. 

Mshat’s decision was taken after growing security concerns over the presence of infiltrators among GPC members, which would make it easier for Arab Coalition warplanes to target officials from his council.

The Houthi leader also ordered that GPC members against attending the Council’s official meetings, in a sign of his mounting mistrust of those figures.

The sources said that Mshat had tasked head of his office Ahmed Hamed, known as Abou Mahfouz, to represent him in most meetings with GPC leaderships, in an attempt to limit frequent public appearances and avoid the same fate as his predecessor Saleh al-Sammad.

Sammad, the second in command of the Iran-backed Houthi militia, was killed last month in an air strike by the Saudi-led Coalition on the Hodeidah province.

“Mshat has already canceled several planned meetings after fearing that his location would be uncovered and targeted,” the sources said.

Based on the powers delegated to Hamed, the sources said that he has become the effective ruler of the Houthi government in Sanaa.

Mshat, Hamed and several Houthi officials had survived a Coalition attack on the Presidential Palace early this month.

The attack raised suspicions among the Houthis of the presence of infiltrators in their ranks by pro-GPC figures, who are in contact with the Yemeni legitimate government and Arab Coalition.
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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