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Mercenaries, commanders fight over cash from Saudi Arabia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Yemeni militants gather at the military base of Nihm, in Sana’a Province, east of the Yemeni capital, April 7, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The Saudi-backed militants in Yemen have engaged in infighting with their commanders over the distribution of cash from Riyadh.

Yemen’s Khabar News Agency reported on Monday that tensions and clashes have erupted between Saudi-backed militants in the areas under their control in the province of Ma’rib following an alleged move by their commanders to take most of the Saudi money for themselves.

The Saudi mercenaries, who demand to receive higher amounts, accused the commanders of slashing the “salaries” of some of the militants and removing the names of others from the wage list as well as practicing “nepotism” and “cronyism.”

The report also said some three militants were injured in the area of Khashina in Ma’rib’s Harib district as clashes erupted while they were receiving the “salaries” paid by Saudi Arabia.

Yemeni activists also said one of the militants committed suicide after he did not receive his payment.

Meanwhile, some of the Saudi mercenaries, from the so-called al-Soqour Brigade, have set up checkpoints in the border area between the provinces of Ma’rib and Jawf and are preventing Saudi military equipment from crossing because they have not received their payments for months.

Many of the mercenaries in Ma’rib also left the Saudi-funded military bases after they received only 600 Saudi riyals instead of the promised 1,400 riyals.

Over the past days, the mercenaries fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia in Yemen said the commanders took over 50 percent of the Saudi funds for themselves.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to bring former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — who is a staunch ally of Riyadh — back to power and defeat the Ansarullah movement.

More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the aggression.

The Saudi strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

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