Sudan has agreed to send 10,000 soldiers to Yemen to help secure the southern port city of Aden and back up the Arab coalition in its armed resistance to Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the liberation of Houthi-held cities.
On Saturday, hundreds of Sudanese troops arrived in Aden, the first batch of the thousands of reinforcements promised for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Zaidi Shia rebels known as Houthis, who controlled most of the country last year, including the capital Sana’a.
Another group of Sudanese soldiers was dispatched Monday, where they united in Yemen with coalition soldiers. Sources in the 4th military region in Aden reported that 450 Sudanese soldiers had arrived in the coastal city “as part of operations to strengthen security.”
This week, the Yemeni government agreed to meet in Geneva at the end of October for talks with Houthi rebels, in the hopes of ending months of heavy fighting, according to a top U.N. official.
Agreement to the meeting came as a result of talks with exiled Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is currently living in Saudi Arabia.
Last week, Houthi leaders formally committed to implementing a U.N. Security Council resolution that calls on rebels to withdraw from Yemeni cities seized in the past year.
Earlier this month, the Houthi insurgency in Yemen gave the country’s few remaining Jewish citizens an ultimatum: conversion to Islam or immediate exile.
The Houthi terrorists in Yemen are notoriously anti-American and anti-Semitic, as evidenced by their motto, “God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.” Almost a third of the group is made up of child soldiers, and the band continues to battle Sunni forces for a stake in Yemen.
In just the past six months, over 2,300 civilians have been killed due to the war.
On Monday, Al Houthi militants continued their heavy shelling of the densely populated city of Ta-iz in south Yemen. Al Houthi militants had set up a blockade on the city to punish residents for resisting their occupation.
“The shells landed in many districts during the night,” Abdul Nasser Al Sadeq, a local photojournalist said.
The spokesman of the Yemeni army Brigadier General Samir al-Haj said that the number of Sudanese forces is expected to reach 6,000 with expertise in fighting in the rugged mountains and will take part in the liberation of Ta’iz and Ibb.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia officially confirmed the participation of Sudanese ground forces for the first time.
“The Sudanese force are added value to the coalition forces on the ground,” Saudi Defense Minister adviser Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri told Sky news Arabia TV.
While Saudi Arabia’s strongest allies such as Egypt and Pakistan have declined requests to send ground troops to Yemen, Sudan has stepped in, recently shifting its alliances in response to growing economic pressures at home.
Sudanese authorities closed the Iranian Cultural Center in the capital Khartoum late last year and asked the Iranian cultural attaché to leave the country.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.