By Fakhri al-Arashi
Heroes. If they do not win a battle, they still win a great record of their honest struggle on the battleground. The Road to Sana’a is a new documentary film produced by al-Jazeera discussing the hidden facts of Amran’s collapse, the stronghold of Yemeni tribal fighters and the back entrance to Sana’a.
The film brought people back into the earlier days of Houthi militants’ deadly fighting in Amran and the historical conspiracy saw Sana’a the capital of Yemen fall to the hands of Houthis. The documentary sheds light on Commander General Hamid al-Goushaibi, including his horrible death.
The film was conducted and produced by Yemeni journalist Safa Karman and Jamal al-Muliki. Seven major generals who were fighting with Commander al-Goushaibi discuss the conspiracy that led to the collapse of Camp 310 in Amran.
The filmmakers of the Road to Sana’a said it took them seven months of hard work to achieve the final product for broadcasting. Producers stated that the film was produced in a number of Arab countries.
The film was watched by a large number of people within the country and beyond, with most agreeing that the film was produced at a very critical time and was broadcasted to make a shift in the political trends over the ongoing war in South Yemen, lead by Houthi and Saleh loyalists.
A few minutes after the film was completed, bloggers, politicians, media analysts and social activists reflected on Yemen’s fighting and the Saudi-led coalition interference in Yemen’s affairs that began after Amran’s collapse by Houthi militants. The six months of deadly fighting, multiple ceasefire mediations, political powers involvement, replacing governors, and tribal collusion for the favor of Houthi fighters was discussed as well.
A heated conversation erupted among one friendly group on WhatsApp and many more groups creating different scenarios for what would happen after the film showed. “The country will not forgive those who betrayed it. Former Defense Minister Mohammed Ali Ahmed was betrayed and Major General al-Magdashi too,” said Ahmed, a blogger. “The President in exile AbduRabou Mansour Hadi does not enjoy the basic characters of a president,” he continued.
Ramzi, another blogger, said, “I think this is a step to beat the former Republican guards and the Houthis aggressively.” Ahmed replied, “This could be a preface to remove Hadi for his collusion in the killing of al-Goushaibi.” Ramzi continued, “The third possibility is to reconsider some military major generals from the new united military leadership.”
“Al-Qoushaibi was bravely fighting because he received promises from General Ali Mohsin and President Hadi,” Dr. Murad added. “Let me tell you once again that Mohsin was not waiting to get orders from Hadi to help Al-Qoushaibi with military logistics. It was betrayal!”
Ramzi replied, “There are no military major generals that would give orders to move military units without the approval of the Defense Minister.
“Well, how do you justify the meeting of Hadi with Al-Qoushaibi a few weeks before his death? Who asked Hadi to dismiss him to avoid the long war? Hadi refused to dismiss him and he refused even to aid him with some military machinery! This is suspected from the president, who later complained about Al-Qoushaibi to the Security Council via Jamal Benomar!” said Mohammed. “Hadi and Benomar were deeply involved in the collapse of Amran.”
According to the film report and medical report investigated by a special team representing the Ministry of Defense, Al-Qoushaibi was shot from close distance with eighty bullets ripping apart his body. “After the Houthis killed him they airlifted his body to Sa’ada, the stronghold of the Houthis who demanded to exchange his body with freeing some Iranian prisoners,” said the report.
President Hadi visited Amran and announced Amran as a peaceful governorate. According to political analysis, President Hadi full knowledge of Al-Qoushaibi’s death. Hadi also announced $5 billion riyals for the reconstruction the town facilities that were affected by the war between the Houths and Al-Qoushaibi. Hadi did not attend Al-Qoushaibi’s funeral.
The fighting there killed at least 200 people, displacing more than 35,000 people. Two months later after the collapse of Amran, the Houthis overtook the capital Sana’a with an excuse to reject the new oil prices increased by Hadi to help the state economy.
The film is available on YouTube in Arabic and it is recommended for those who do not have a deep background on the deadly battle between the Houthis and Commander General Hamid al-Goushaibi.