(Photo credit: Arab News)
The head of the Saudi-backed Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) in Yemen, Rashid Al-Alimi, announced on 11 August that a number of leaders and commanders have been dismissed as a result of the clashes in Shabwah province’s capital city, Ataq, which left dozens killed including several civilians.
The clashes were fought between the UAE’s Giants Brigade mercenary group and forces loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) official branch in Yemen, the Saudi-backed Islah Party, persisting until the dawn of 10 August and culminating in the Giant Brigade’s capturing of the city.
The violence initially began after the governor of Shabwah province, affiliated with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC), dismissed the area’s police chief for his “anti-Emirati stance.”
In a statement, Al-Alimi expressed the PLC’s “deep regret, profound sorrow and sympathy to the families of the victims, especially the innocent civilians.”
The PLC “initiated a rapid response, eradicated dissension and held those responsible to account,” Al-Alimi said, stressing the “state’s commitment to redress the harm done [to victims], address the effects of these events and take the necessary measures to ensure there isn’t a repeat.”
The head of the Saudi-backed council, who has been referred to by Ansarallah as “the man of America,” also said that a committee has been put in place to investigate the events.
The Islah Party released a statement on 11 August laying the responsibility on the governor of Shabwah, Awad Al-Wazir, calling for his immediate dismissal.
The clashes in Ataq represent a serious setback for the Saudi-led coalition, as they show a major lack of unity among the fighting forces of the two main coalition members, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Al-Alimi’s statement coincides with the visit of Muhammad Abdul Salam, the head of Sanaa’s negotiating team at the UN, to Moscow, where he was quoted by media as having said: “This is the last time we accept [the truce] extension,” in light of the ongoing Saudi violations of the ceasefire agreement.