Yemen: 'army commander killed'

A senior Yemeni army commander died in an ambush yesterday (presumably at the hands of Houthi rebels), according to an Associated Press report which cites unnamed official sources:

"The officials say Brig Gen Omar Ali al-Issa, who headed an infantry division engaged in the fighting in the Saada province, was killed along with several soldiers by a rocket-propelled grenade on Friday afternoon."

In a speech on October 14, President Salih said the conflict would end very soon. "The army is achieving great, great progress in all frontlines, and over the coming few days the victory will be declared."

It's now October 24 and despite daily reports of large numbers of rebels being killed, there's no sign that "victory" is at hand.

One indication of that comes from the UN's latest Emergency Situation Report (number 11). Look at the large red/green circles on the map. The red areas represent tens of thousands of displaced civilians who cannot be reached by aid agencies because of the ongoing conflict.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 24 October 2009.