On Sept. 4, the Sanaa regime offered a ceasefire from its offensive,
called Operation Scorched Earth, which began on Aug. 11. But the Believing
Youth did not formally respond to the Yemeni proposal, and fighting began
"The government sees no problem in suspending military operations," the
Officials said the Believing Youth has sustained heavy casualties, which
included the death of several field commanders. In August, Yemen identified
55 Shi'ite rebel leaders wanted by the Sanaa regime.
One of the rebel casualties was identified as Hussein Yehya Hanash,
regarded as a leading commander. Hanash was said to have been killed in a
Yemen Army assault on Shi'ite strongholds in Al Malahaid.
"Leaders of the rebellion, among the most dangerous terrorist elements,
were killed," a Yemeni military statement said.
Officials said the Believing Youth was deploying heavy weapons and
armored vehicles in Saada. But they said many Shi'ite rebel units were
trapped or eliminated over the last week.
For its part, Believing Youth said Yemen was receiving military
assistance from neighboring Saudi Arabia. The Shi'ite rebels said Riyad was
allowing its territory to be used in Yemeni attacks on Believing Youth
strongholds in the mountains near the Saudi border.