The ever-tenuous ceasefire in Northern Yemen appears to have collapsed, and the Shi’ite Houthi rebels have taken to the offensive, capturing a major army post in al-Zaala, capturing the soldiers inside.
While officials initially put the figure of captured soldiers at 70, they say now that some 200 Yemeni troops have been captured in the renewed fighting in the north. A rebel spokesman declined to confirm the captures, but renewed demands for the bin Aziz tribes’ troops, loyal to the Yemeni Army to withdraw from the region.
Fighting has been picking up over the past week, leaving scores of combatants slain. The rebels were initially said to be clashing with the bin Aziz militia, and the military claims it was dispatched simply to restore order.
A number of Yemen’s ruling MPs have called on the military to abandon the ceasefire entirely and return to the days of open warfare in the name of protecting Sheikh Aziz’s interests in the region. Aziz is also a memer of the ruling party.