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Yemen’s Houthi militia leader says tribesmen are ‘traitors’

Published: Updated:

Houthi militia leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi held a meeting with senior militia field commanders, Yemeni sources said on Friday.

The meeting took place at a time when the Arab coalition-backed Yemeni army, which is fighting against the militia, has been making field progress in attacks on the main Houthi base in Saada.

A source close to a senior Houthi leader who attended the meeting, said that al-Houthi repeatedly warned the attendees "not to rely on tribesmen" in the Iran-backed battle against the Yemeni people. He also referred to the tribesmen as “traitors and backstabbers.”

Al-Houthi ordered the commanders to kill all those who retreat or withdraw from their ranks on the fighting fronts, especially tribesmen, in fear of having them join the national army, said the source as quoted by local news sites.

Referring to the Houthi militia leader, the source said: “From the beginning, he has been cautiously dealing with the tribes. He expects their betrayal at any moment they find their interests with others.”

The source also noted that al-Houthi appeared to be nervous and stuttered during his speech.

The source did not reveal where or how the meeting was held. As of yet, there is speculation where al-Houthi is hiding, with some claiming he resides in a cave in Saada’s mountains. Others claim he’s hiding in southern Lebanon or Tehran.