Two senior Gulf commanders killed in Yemen
Two senior army commanders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were killed along with two Saudi soldiers in Yemen as fighting with a Houthi militia flared before Tuesday’s expected peace talks, state media reported on Monday.
Top Saudi officer Abdullah al-Sahian was killed while Sultan Mohammed Ali al-Kitbi, an Emirati officer, was killed near Taiz, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.
Photographs of Sahian, who had been decorated by Saudi-backed Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi for bravery two days earlier, were displayed by Al Arabiya’s sister channel al-Hadath alongside Muslim verses of mourning.
The Houthi militia said via its own media outlet that the two had been killed in a rocket attack on the Red Sea coast.
Houthi militias and Saleh’s former political party, the General People’s Congress, are sending representatives to Switzerland on Tuesday for talks with Yemen’s internationally recognized government under President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi.
A seven-day renewable ceasefire is scheduled to come into effect at midnight on monday to coincide with the talks. Two previous attempts at ceasefires, in May and July, were followed by accusations of breaches by both sides.
Saudi Arabia has led an Arab coalition in a military campaign from late March to stop the Houthi militias, allies of Iran, from taking complete control of Yemen after they had advanced south last year, seizing the capital Sanaa.