Houthis Blame Saudi Arabia for Deaths of Thousands of Sudanese Soldiers in Yemen
Houthi rebels in Yemen accused Saudi Arabia of bearing responsibility for the deaths of thousands of Sudanese soldiers during the Yemen War.
In a televised press conference over the weekend, a spokesperson for the Yemen-based Houthi rebels announced that more than 4,000 Sudanese soldiers have been killed in Yemen since 2015.
Brigadier General Yahya Seri’i, a spokesperson for the Houthi-led Ansar Allah forces, said that 4,253 Sudanese soldiers which have been a part of a Saudi Arabia-led Arab military coalition against Yemen have been killed and around another 4,000 wounded.
“The total losses for the mercenaries of the Sudanese Army since the beginning of the aggression exceeds 8,000”, Seri’i was reported by the Almasdar News website as saying.
The spokesperson also accused the Saudi Arabian-led coalition of dragging Sudanese soldiers into the front lines of the Yemen War and claimed that Sudanese soldiers have not been given priority in arrangements for prisoner swaps.
The televised conference also showed multiple videos of captured Sudanese soldiers speaking in front of cameras and assuring their families about their well-being.
In response to the Houthis’ claims, a spokesperson for the Sudanese army, Amer al-Hassan, told Russia Today (RT) that the Houthi’s numbers were false.
“The death toll, announced by the Houthis is not supported by any logic. The Sudanese army had fought a 21-year-long civil war in home, and it did not lose such a number of deaths,” al-Hassan told RT.
According to Sudan Daily, al-Hassan claimed the Houthi statement was an attempt at psychological manipulation – to turn Sudan’s citizens against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and the involvement of Sudan’s troops. He also denied a leak that 10,000 Sudanese forces were being removed from Yemen, stressing that “the Sudanese forces can not be withdrawn from Yemen in any way.”
Root Causes of Yemen War
Fighting in Yemen began in late 2014 when Houthi rebels took control of large parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a. Mass protests and the Houthi rebel group forced the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi from power in 2015. Since then, Hadi has resided in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The civil war has its roots in the 2011 Arab Spring, which led to a 2011 Yemen uprising that eventually forced the end of the 32-year-long regime of Yemen’s late president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. The uprising grew into a military conflict in 2014 and has since caused the deaths of thousands of people and the displacement of hundreds of thousands more.
Since 2014 the separatist Houthis have engaged in a civil war with the government. In support of the government, Saudi Arabia has led an Arab military coalition against the Houthis along with the support of nine other countries from West Asia and Africa, which includes the Sudanese soldiers. The Houthis have attempted to attack Saudi Arabia on its own soil in return mostly through drone strikes. Most recently, the Houthis allegedly launched missiles and explosives-laden drones against the Saudi oil refinery, Aramco.
Saudi Arabia has yet to respond to a Houthi truce offer that depends on Saudi Arabia stopping its military attacks on Yemen.