Houthi commander says he will work with Saudi-led coalition in Yemen
Sheikh Hamir Ebrahim, who commanded the Hyais and Al Kokha fronts in Yemen, ordered his tribesmen to join the ranks of coalition forces
A Houthi commander who turned himself in to UAE Armed Forces in Yemen says he is willing to work with the Saudi-led coalition fighting to restore the government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi to power.
Sheikh Hamir Ebrahim, who commanded the Hyais and Al Kokha fronts in Hodeidah province, ordered his tribesmen to join the ranks of coalition forces "in order to liberate entire Yemeni territories", state news agency Wam said.
"Whoever dares to reject their orders [will be] targeted and expelled along with his family from their tribe and from the entire area," said Sheikh Ebrahim, who is better known by his nickname, Ebrahim Adabu.
He said he had received fair and decent treatment from the UAE Armed Forces since turning himself in, Wam said on Sunday.
Sheikh Ebrahim surrendered to the Yemeni army on Saturday, along with 50 of his men, according to pro-government journalist Aseel Al Sakladi. The Yemeni army and UAE Armed Forces are fighting together in Hodeidah.
Wam reported on Monday that Yemeni troops and coalition forces were continuing to advance towards the district of Hyais in Hodeidah. UAE forces have secured a road south of Hyais that served as the Houthis' supply line between Hodeidah and neighbouring Taez province.
The UAE is a leading member of the Saudi-led coalition which has been fighting in Yemen since March 2015.
Also on Sunday, the coalition said two Saudi pilots were rescued after their jet crashed in Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al Malki said the jet crashed at 3.40pm on Sunday after suffering technical trouble, but he did not say where the incident occurred.
"The Arab Coalition Forces Command implemented a private joint operation to evacuate two pilots," he said, adding that the pilots had suffered no injuries.
The Houthis, however, claimed the British-built Tornado was hit while flying over the northern Yemeni province of Saada, which borders Saudi Arabia and is the stronghold of the rebels. They said the jet had crashed on Saudi soil.
On Monday, the Yemeni army announced that its troops had achieved new gains in the Saada province district of Al Buku'a.
The media centre of the Yemeni armed forces posted on Facebook that troops had liberated the Om Al Adem mountain chain, which is close to the road linking Al Buku'a with Saada city, the provincial capital.
The commander of government forces in Saada, Major General Obeid Al Athlah, said this had cut the rebels' supply route to the Saudi border.
The Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, seized the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, in September 2014 and later advanced south, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to launch its intervention.
Although the coalition has since helped Mr Hadi's government — based in the second city of Aden — to retake large swathes of the south from the Houthis, the rebels still control Sanaa and much of the north.
Updated: January 8, 2018 03:19 PM