Internal rifts continue to plague the Houthi militias, led by their leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, as he attempts to play his last card to preserve the group from collapse.
The Houthi leader seeks to oust senior leaders at the top of the militias’ hierarchy and push their most dangerous leaders to the forefront, in a final attempt to consolidate his power and mend internal rifts. These rifts have reached the stronghold of the rebellion in Saada, in addition to quelling domestic unrest in their controlled areas.
Recently, internal disputes and conflicts among top Houthi figures in Sanaa have escalated over privileges and influence, notably a hidden and unannounced rivalry between influential leaders such as “Mohammed Ali al-Houthi,” “Mahdi al-Mashat,” and “Ahmed Hamed.”
The conflict has also extended to the stronghold of the coup in Saada governorate, following the emergence of a new faction threatening to defect from the militias, led by Abdullah Aidha al-Razami and his eldest son, “Yahya,” backed by Hussein al-Houthi, the founder of the Houthi militias.
Mashat, al-Houthi, and Hamed… The trio of conflict
The conflicts and divisions that have struck Sanaa and extended to Saada have prompted the Houthi leader to seriously consider making changes to senior leaders accused of corruption and fueling internal conflicts. This is particularly true in what is known as the “Supreme Political Council,” which governs areas under the coup.
Sources have clarified that the Houthi leader is actively seeking to oust the trio of conflict and corruption, namely “Mahdi al-Mashat,” the head of the so-called “Political Council,” responsible for the economic and fiscal aspects through the “Higher Economic Committee.”
The second leader is the influential “Mohammed Ali al-Houthi,” a member of the Political Council responsible for the judiciary and security through the “Judicial Committee” and “Popular Committees.” The third is “Ahmed Hamed,” the director of the so-called “Presidential Office,” and the primary supervisor of the unrecognized coup government, the parliament, the Shura Council, and independent financial institutions, according to the sources.
According to the same sources, the leader of the Houthi militias, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, intends to appoint his top assistants from shadowy figures, including “Yousef al-Fishi,” described as “the fox,” instead of “Mahdi al-Mashat,” his brother “Abdulkhaliq al-Houthi” instead of “Mohammed Ali al-Houthi,” and “Ali al-Qahum” instead of “Ahmed Hamed.”
“al-Mashat,” “Hamed,” and “Mohammed Ali al-Houthi” created a fictitious internal enemy after learning of the impending ousting, in addition to intensifying their field movements in Ibb and Saada. This was an attempt to obstruct the movements of ” al-Fishi,” “al-Qahum,” and “Abdulkhaliq.”
The sources added that “al-Mashat” and “Mohammed Ali al-Houthi,” who appeared together for the first time despite their bitter rivalry, each endorsing the other alongside “Ahmed Hamed,” were the ones who fabricated the crisis of discourse against the leader of the General People’s Congress wing in Sanaa, Sadiq Amin Abu Rass, in an attempt to export the internal crisis of the militias by creating a domestic enemy.
According to the sources, the campaign of insults and threats carried out by the Houthi leaders and media activists against Abu Rass and the General People’s Congress wing in Sanaa, including the demand for payment of salaries and the issuance of deferred checks for employees whose salaries have been withheld for years, came upon the personal order of the influential leader “Ahmed Hamed.” through what is known as the Houthi media body. It aimed to fabricate a new enemy and divert attention towards it to persuade the Houthi leader to adopt their directions regarding the changes .and to confront the internal enemy represented by the General People’s Congress wing in Sanaa. the partner of the coup.
The battle for interests, power, control, and wealth among Houthi militia leaders has escalated significantly in the absence of peace and war in the country. It is expected that the conflict will intensify further in the coming phase. given the changes that the Houthi leader plans to implement .and the gains that one of Saada’s factions is expected to obtain. according to the sources.
Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi acknowledged in his latest recorded speeches the dire situation facing the group and its controlled areas. stating that it “requires a radical change.” This has put the influential Houthi leaders. especially “Ahmed Hamed” and “al-Mashat,” on alert.