Who rules Taiz today?

By: Suhail Ahmed

Since the outbreak of the war and the imposition of legitimacy over most of its neighborhoods in 2015, security has become the premier missing in a long list of missing items for the residents of Taiz city, as a result for their city transformation into a scene of armed and frequent clashes almost daily between the armed groups affiliated with the Legitimacy Army, or what is known by Taiz people as “Al-Mafsaein”, in light of the security and military authority’s support for “Al-Mafsaein” with money and weapons and disregards their violations against the citizens  right and investing them as papers to settle their political and material accounts, the following report explores, with facts and figures, the course of the ongoing clashes between the two factions, “Ghazwan and Ghadr”, from those armed groups that have transformed Taiz from the city of Al-Mashaqer into the city of ghosts.

It does not seem that the armed clashes and chaos that Taiz city witness it as a result of the repeated clashes between the groups of “Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi and Ghadr al-Sharabi”will calm down because the groups of Ghazwan will be able to kill the so called “Ayman al-Dambi,” the brother-in-law of Ghadr and his right hand, after surrounding him and clashing with him for several hours, on Saturday, as long as the parties feeding the conflicts of the armed groups continue to recreate them again, supply them with money, weapons and influence and give them the green light to practice futility in the city streets.

On the 29th of last January, the spark of confrontations began between the groups of Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi who is close to the commander of 22nd Mika Brigade, Sadiq Sarhan, on the one hand, and the groups of the so called, Ghader al-Sharabi, on the other hand, and both parties are wanted by security in order to face justice in criminal cases,  Sinan tour area, which is located in the city  heart, witnessed violent clashes between the two parties, causing panic among citizens and causing material damage.

Exactly two days later, on the second of last November, a wave of clashes renewed between the two sides, and in the same area that is located near to many military and security institutions. resulting in the killing and injuring of 6 from Ghazwan’s companions in an ambush carried out by Ghader group, among them is “Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi”, who was injured in the accident, and he was hospitalized at Al-Rawda Hospital for treatment. At the time that the security services surrounded the hospital to protect him.

On Tuesday’s evening the 11th of last February, the group of Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi, with the support and reinforcement of the security campaign crews, organized a raid campaign on Wadi al-Qadi neighborhood, in which “ Ghader al-Sharabi” resides, to erupt violent clashes with medium and light weapons with the imposition of an almost enforceable siege on the neighborhood people, where two vicitms from the neighborhood killed. They were unable to rescue them and five other civilians and armed group were wounded.

The incident of Wadi al-Qadi clashes was met with great popular discontent among the elites and Taiz people who organized demonstrations condemning the competent security authorities, who instead of working to arrest the two parties, they mobilized their financial and media capabilities in favor of one of them and participated in the violations practice against the people of the neighborhood under the pretext of “a security campaign to arrest wanted persons, after which it became clear, according to the spokesperson of Taiz police, Osama Al-Sharabi, that it was a case of tribal revenge and to get involved in it, is an unforgivable sin.

the crimes and violations of other armed groups did not stop against the people of Taiz city, but only five months to heal the wounds of Ghazwan was an opportunity for the people to stop the chaos between the two parties, perhaps it will not be repeated again under the management of the legitimate authorities in the city, Then the conflict erupted again on the 20th of last July,  after Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi group set up an armed ambush to betrays Al-Sharabi while he was leaving Al-Rasani restaurant in Al-Saeed neighborhood. It is the ambush in which Ghader was nearly to be dead killed were it not for the quick intervention of his brother-in-law, “Al-Dambi”, who managed to save him and set up another ambush for Ghazwan groups in Al-Tahrir Street and burn a car belonging to them. One person killed and five others were injured in that round of conflict, not to mention the state of panic it caused among the citizens.

The 9th of last August was the fiercest and most ferocious, and claimed the lives of many victims in the conflict rounds of Ghazwan and Ghader, when the groups of Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi stormed the house of Ghader’s brother-in-law Ayman Al-Dambi, in Al-Tahrir Street, one of the most important commercial streets in the city, and burned his house after his younger brother “Ayham” was brutally killed, and his father, called “Abdullah Hasan,” was wounded, while two of Ghazwan groups and two citizens were killed. In addition to dozens of injuries among citizens, which caused embarrassment to the Axis authorities, which were leading a security campaign to eliminate their opponents in Al-Hujariah, and the director of its security Al-Akhali had earlier justified his failure to arrest Ghazwan, for being the most wanted security man, by saying that he “wanders around areas adjacent to houthits,” which sparked a wave of  irony at the time.

After the events of bloody August, the security authorities announced a list of those so called wanted by the security forces, and it included most of Ghader al-Sharabi groups, excluding the groups of Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi, who announced that his surrender himself to the Axis authority in a semi-dramatic and welcoming scene. So, the social networks in Taiz stop talking about the victims of Ghazwan and Ghader clashes before they come back again this time on Saturday, with the killing and dragging of Al-Dambi, to get questions back on the street, about the role of the military brigade’s leaders of Axis in supporting these groups?

And about the roles in which these unruly groups are employed for the benefit of military leaders?

What is the role of security authorities amid this chaos?

While the most prominent question is who rules Taiz under the control of legitimacy?