Yemeni army announces killing of UAE-backed militant leader in Shabwah
Clashes have intensified in the oil-rich province following the arrival of Salafist and Al-Qaeda linked groups allied with the Saudi-led coalition
By News Desk - January 04 2022

Giants Brigades fighters mobilizing in southern Yemen. (Photo credit: Middle East in 24)

On 4 January, Arabic media reported that a commander in the Emirati-backed Giants Brigades was killed in Yemen’s oil-rich Shabwah province following a military operation by the Yemeni Armed Forces and allied Popular Committees.

Samih Jarada al-Subaihi, the commander of the militia’s second brigade, was reportedly killed by snipers in Usaylan District.

Sources who spoke with Al Mayadeen say he was considered one of the most prominent Salafist field leaders and that his death “represents a great loss” for the UAE.

The sources also indicated that confrontations are taking place in the areas of Al-Hajar, Tawal al-Sada, Lakhider, east of Salim, and the north of the Usaylan district, west of Shabwa.

In response to the fighting, the UAE-backed militias have called on additional military reinforcements to move from Aden towards Shabwa to support their fighters on the ground.

On top of this, Saudi-led coalition warplanes launched at least 50 air raids on Usaylan district over the past 24 hours.

The news of Al-Subaihi’s death comes just one week after the arrival of the Giants Brigades to Shabwah.

Last week, ousted president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi dismissed governor Muhammad bin Adyo from his post in Shabwah and named UAE-backed Awad al-Awlaki as the new governor of the oil-rich province.

Bin Adyo and his forces were reportedly fiercely against the presence of Emirati troops in Shabwah and had even confronted them on a number of occasions.

Reports ahead of the Giants Brigades’ arrival indicated that the Saudi-led coalition was “seeking to transfer several militant brigades, which include groups from Salafist and Al Qaeda-linked groups, to Shabwah.”

The unnamed sources added that Riyadh ordered Major General Ibrahim Haydan, the interior minister in Hadi’s parallel administration, to direct allied forces in Abyan province to “facilitate the passage of Salafist militants and members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) [armed group to Shabwah].”

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