Since the beginning of the popular uprising, protesters in Sana’a have gathered at the University, dubbing its square, “Change Square”.
Back in March, when the General announced that he was defecting from the Saleh government in favor of the revolutionaries he vowed to use his military might to protect civilians from the regime’s abuses.
Yesterday, he enacted his promise by fiercely defending unarmed men and women from the government’s violent attacks.
According to witnesses on the ground, Mohsen’s men immediately created a protective cordon around the University, slowly forcing back the Republican Guards towards the Kentucky roundabout. Despite the non-stop shelling and the use of heavy artillery, such as RPGs, Basukas, anti-aircraft guns and tanks, the 1st Armored Division advanced further.
Emboldened by this unexpected victory against the country’s elite military troops, protesters quiclky joined in with sticks and knives, cutting through the ranks of the Republican Guards. Soon after that, the revolutionaries were in control of the entire area.
In al-Zubeyri Street which lies a few kilometers away from the University, further battles were taking place. But there again, General Mohsen was victorious. His men succeeded in storming the Republican Guards ’base there, granting the revolution its biggest victory yet.
"It was unbelievable," said protester Ameen Ali Saleh of storming the base on the west side of the major al-Zubeyri Street, which runs through the heart of Sanaa. "We acted like it was us who had the weapons, not the soldiers."
"Now the remainder of the regime will finally crumble," said another demonstrator, Mohammed al-Wasaby. "Our will is more effective than weapons. The soldiers loyal to Saleh just ran away."
Enraged by the revolutionaries advances, Ahmed Saleh, the Head of the Republican Guards and president Saleh’s eldest son ordered the use of yet more heavy weapons in Sana’a.
Some residents reported the use of warplanes against the Islamic University of al-Iman, while others claimed that the building was hit by mortar bombs. In any case, the University was heavily targeted and consequently destroyed.