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Operation Blow to the Head
Part of Sa'dah insurgency (Operation Scorched Earth), Yemeni al-Qaeda crackdown
Mosque in Sa'dah
The Mosque in Sa'dah.
Date January 13, 2010 – February 12[1]
Location Sa'dah, Sa'dah Governorate, Yemen
Result Cease-fire
Flag of Yemen.svg Yemen Houthis Logo.pngAsh-Shabab al-Muminin

Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Commanders and leaders
Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh Houthis Logo.png Abdul-Malik al-Houthi

Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq Abdullah al-Mehdar

Casualties and losses
unknown 24 killed
25 captured

Operation Blow to the Head was a Yemeni military operation against the militants in the insurgent Yemeni town of Sa'dah in Sa'dah Province. The Yemeni government troops began trying to capture the town on January 13, 2010. On that day the Islamic militant Abdullah al-Mehdar was killed by Yemeni security forces.[2]

Region insurgencyEdit

In June 2004, insurgency returned in Yemen.[3] The Yemeni Government allegedly received help from the United States in controlling the insurgent force. From June to August 2004, Houthis battled with the Yemeni Government under Hussein al-Houthi. Houthi was killed[4] in the insurgency by September. His brother, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi took over command over the insurgents, and leads them today. The allies launched Operation Scorched Earth, but the rebels agreed to a short truce on February 12, 2010.[1]


The Yemeni government troops led a military operation against the insurgent town of Sa'dah. Abdullah al-Mehdar, led the Al-Qaeda insurgents against the government troops. Other Islamic rebels also fought against the Yemeni troops, with the fighting destroying much of the old Sa'dah city.[citation needed] Many buildings were reduced to rubble. Al-Mehdar was killed in a gunfight with Security Forces on the opening day of the conflict. Fifteen Shi'a rebels were killed in the next two days in the operation. On January 19, 2010, several rebels were killed by government forces in raids on Houthi hideouts in the old corner of the north. About 25 rebels were reported captured by the Yemeni government.[2] The operation ended after a truce was declared by both sides on February 12, 2010.[1]


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