Saturday, December 02, 2017

Yemen's Houthi Says Former President Saleh Must Reconsider Stance Approved by Enemies
Sat Dec 2, 2017 06:40PM

The leader of Yemen's popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, has criticized the stance adopted by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the forces loyal to him to create chaos in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, calling the move a betrayal of the impoverished nation.

The Yemeni leader made the remarks via a televised speech from Sana’a on Saturday, several hours after he made another speech in which he called on the Yemenis to preserve the national security of Yemen and avoid sedition.

Earlier, Saleh had called upon the Yemeni armed forces and the police not to take orders from the Ansarullah movement "under any circumstances or at any place" and expressed his intention "to turn a new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen if it ended its aggression and blockade on the impoverished country.

Since Wednesday, armed clashes sparked by forces loyal to Saleh have continued with Houthi forces that are in the forefront of a retaliatory war against the Saudi-led military coalition. Saleh loyalists accuse the Houthi fighters of raiding their bases across Sana’a and beyond, an allegation that the Houthi leader strongly denied.

Saleh loyalist forces “continue to move toward chaos and disturbance of security and stability” in the Arab country, the Houthi leader further said, calling Saleh’s move as a “coup” against the Yemeni alliance. He said Saleh must reassess his policies that are favored by Yemen's enemies.

“We must continue to support the fighting fronts because this plot is the last card of the forces of aggression, through which they seek to facilitate their occupation of our country,” Houthi added.

Saleh stepped down following a 2011 uprising after being in power for 33 years. His resignation in 2012 paved the way for Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to assume power and rule over Yemen as the president of the poor nation. His tenure, however, did not last long. In 2014, Hadi resigned and fled the country to Saudi Arabia due to purported chaos back home.

The Houthi movement, since then, has been running state affairs after Hadi’s escape threw Yemen into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in the country, where an al-Qaeda affiliate is present.

Saleh joined forces with the Houthis and the Yemeni army to defend the country against the brutal Saudi aggression, which started in March 2015.

The Houthi fighters, allied with Yemeni army factions, and forces loyal to Saleh have so far been jointly fighting back the Saudi-led war, which has been accompanied by a naval and aerial blockade of Yemen.

On November 5, Yemeni forces launched a solid propellant and Scud-type Borkan-2 (Volcano-2) missile against the King Khalid International Airport, located 35 kilometers north of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s devastating campaign against Yemen.

The Saudi authorities, however, said at the time that the kingdom’s army had managed to intercept the missile, the fragments of which landed on the airport campus without inflicting any significant damage.

Following the missile launch, Saudi Arabia imposed a tight blockade on nearly all Yemen’s air, land and sea ports, exerting further pressure on the Yemeni people, who receive desperately needed humanitarian assistance through the western port city of Hudaydah and an international airport in Sana’a, both under the crippling siege.

Over the past two and a half years, the Saudi regime has been heavily bombarding Yemen as part of the atrocious campaign in an attempt to reinstall Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to crush Ansarullah, which is in control of large parts of Yemen, including the capital. The Saudi campaign, however, has failed to achieve its goals.

Saudi-led coalition provides air support for Yemen's Saleh

Sunday 3 Dec 2017

Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition bombed Houthi positions in Sanaa overnight on Sunday, residents and local media said, aiming to shore up supporters of formerYemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh as they battle the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

Saleh announced on Saturday he was ready to turn a "new page" in ties with the Saudi-led coalition fighting inYemenif it stopped attacks onYemeni citizens, in a move that could pave the way to end nearly three years of war.

The apparent shift in position came as Saleh's supporters battled Houthi fighters in Hadda, a district in southern Sanaa where members of Saleh's family, including his nephew Tareq, live. It was the fourth day of clashes sparked by what Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) called an attempt to seize a main mosque in the city.

The fighting has killed dozens of people and wounded hundreds, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and raised concern of further casualties among civilians.

The clashes had added a new layer to an already complex situation inYemen, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, where a proxy war between the Iran-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed Hadi has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent times.

Saleh's announcement was welcomed by the Saudi-led coalition, which has struggled to achieve any progress against the Houthi-Saleh alliance that had controlled most of northernYemensince 2015 and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee into exile.

The Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said coalition aircraft pounded Houthi outposts in southern Sanaa, but gave no details on casualties. Residents reported at least five air strikes shook the highlands of the area.

Inside the city, residents said that Houthi fighters seized television studios ofYemenToday, a news channel owned by Saleh, after clashes that damaged the building. Residents said 20 employees were trapped inside the building.

Saleh had on Saturday issued his message to the Saudi-led coalition in a speech broadcast from the studios.

Yemendescended into violence in late 2014 when the Houthis, a group that hails from the Zaidi branch of Shi'ite Islam, marched on Sanaa and seized control of the government.

The group, backed by government troops loyal to Saleh, resumed its march south and attacked Hadi's interim capital in Aden, forcing Hadi to flee and inviting the Saudi-led alliance to join the fighting.

Yemen's war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, caused a cholera outbreak infecting nearly one million people and led the country to the brink of famine.

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