A high-profile Saudi-backed militant commander loyal to former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi has reportedly been killed along with members of his entourage near the southern port city of Aden, security sources and officials said.
“Major General Thabet Jawas and four soldiers were killed in a car bomb explosion” as they travelled through the village of al-Madina al-Khadra, located 10 kilometers (six miles) north of Aden, a security official told AFP news agency.
A local official confirmed the attack and the death toll.
Jawas was returning from a personal visit when his car was hit by the blast in a suburb of the city, the security sources said.
Aden’s Arabic-language AIC Television announced his death and showed footage of a car in flames.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Head of Yemen’s National Committee for Prisoners Affairs (NCPA), Abdulqader al-Mortada, confirmed in a post published on his Twitter page that Major General Thabet Jawas had been killed.
Jawas was considered one of the main commanders fighting the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.
He had long been an enemy of the group, participating in operations against Ansarullah in its northern stronghold of Sa’ada even before the movement ousted the Saudi-backed government and took control of the capital, Sana’a, in late 2014.
Jawas reportedly played a role in the murder of former Ansarullah leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who was assassinated by forces loyal to slain former Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh at Marran district of Sa’ada province back in September 2004.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia launched a new round of airstrikes against various areas across Yemen, as Riyadh and its allies continues their devastating military campaign and brutal siege against the impoverished Arab nation.
Saudi jets carried out an air raid against the Hayran district in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah on Wednesday evening, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network said.
Earlier, Saudi fighter jets had launched an airstrike against the Wadi Ubaidah district of Yemen’s oil-producing central province of Ma’rib. There were no immediate reports of casualties or extent of damage.
Furthermore, the Saudi-led military coalition’s soldiers and their mercenaries have breached a truce deal for the western coastal province of Hudaydah 196 times in the last 24 hours.
Citing an unnamed source in Yemen’s Liaison and Coordination Officers Operations Room, al-Masirah TV reported that the violations included spying flights over various regions, including Hays and al-Jabaliya neighborhoods, 43 counts of artillery shelling, and 114 shooting incidents.
Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and several Western states.
The objective was to bring back to power the former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government in Yemen.
The war has stopped well short of all of its goals, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and turning the entire country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.