Written by Bushra Al-Hamidi
They take souls and harvest heads, and death passes to their prey through their rifle barrels. Their bullets blight the lives of the innocent. They practice their hobby of attacking defenseless women, children, and youth. They make the people of the city swallow the bitterness and pain. They block vital goods and food into the city and put the whole city under a siege. They even made passing on the roads akin to passing on a rope hanging over an abyss, and whoever survives their bullets may suffer permanent injury or disability.
This is the story of the Houthi militia snipers stationed on the hills of Taiz, a city where there is not a day goes by without one person being killed or injured by these snipers. One of them was the martyr “Mahfoudh Ali Abdul-Jalil Dalel”, a 36-year-old young man who lives in the Al-Thawra neighborhood.
Mahfoudh is an intelligent and ambitious young man who excelled in his studies from first grade to secondary school, from which he graduated with a grade average of 95% in 2006 before traveling to Malaysia to complete his university studies in computer science and then petroleum engineering.
Mahfoudh returned to Yemen in 2019, holding his university degrees. He got married and had a daughter. He also worked for the United Insurance Company. Then he applied for a job in Shabwa governorate, and he had what he wanted as he was scheduled to travel there in the coming days.
His brother says about him: “Mahfoudh is a calm, well-balanced, humble and committed person. Whoever knows him or associates with him knows this, and everyone loves and respects him.
He adds, “I am his older brother, but I used to treat him as if he was older than me because of his morals, kindness and compassion, and he was always a symbol of obedience.”
His teacher describes him saying: “The martyr Mahfoudh Ali Abdul-Jalil Dael was one of the smartest students I have ever taught in the Abu Ubaida School. I remember him well and remember how polite and elegant he was. He was wonderful in every sense of the word.”
“Mahfoudh” went to visit his mother, as he always used to do every Friday, in her house located below “Osaifra Market” where he spent long time with her, but on Friday, March 4, 2022, he did not enter into his mother’s house alive.
Mahfoudh arrived at the door of his mother’s house and extended his hand to press doorbell, but he did not finish what he was doing.
The ringing of the bell did not complete, not because Mahfoudh went back or simply decided not to visit his mother, but because a Houthi sniper was watching Mahfouz and monitoring his steps, waiting for a moment when he could install his rifle on his target. When Mahfoudh stood in front of the door of his mother’s house, it was the sniper’s chance to prove his ingenuity. He arrogantly pulled the trigger and fired his bullet at Mahfoudh’s pure heart to kill him in cold blood.
Mahfoudh fell dead in front of his mother’s house, only to be received this time as a dead body covered in blood, and this was the last visit which he could not complete and didn’t get the chance to see his mother’s face for the last time. He wasn’t received with kisses of welcome this time, but rather received with farewell kisses.
Mahfoudh’s body was transferred with difficulty to Al-Safwa Hospital. Even after his injury, the Houthi sniper continued to pursue his relatives and his mother’s neighbors as they tried to rescue him. The sniper wanted to make sure his mission would succeed, and he thought that its success consisted in preventing the paramedics from reaching the body to the hospital. Mahfoudh’s soul left his body shortly after his injury, and there was no point in treating him.
Sadness and pain struck the heart of the mother, who in turn was taken to the hospital. She couldn’t believe until this moment that she had lost her precious son.