Saleh Seeks New Page With Saudi-Led Coalition as Yemen Clashes Rage

03 December, 2017, 01:28 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Saleh Seeks New Page With Saudi-Led Coalition as Yemen Clashes Rage

"I call on our brothers in neighboring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade. and we will turn the page", the former president said in a televised speech.

Security forces loyal to Saleh joined forces with the Houthis in 2014, and they went on to capture swathes of territory together and fight government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition.

The two groups had been fighting the Hadi government for almost three years under an uneasy alliance.

The Houthis accused Mr Saleh of betrayal, and vowed to keep up the fight against the Saudi-led coalition.

The Houthis and Saleh remained allies until August, when clashes broke out in the capital between supporters of Saleh and Houthi fighters, and the Houthis killed a prominent figure of Saleh's General People's Congress Party (GPC).

"It demands the anti-government forces in Yemen to desist from attacks against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", the FO added.

The remarks came after Saleh supporters battled Houthi fighters for a fourth day in the capital Sana'a as the two sides traded blame for a rift between allies that could affect the course of a fight against the invading Saudi regime. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

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On Thursday, Houthi threatened to retaliate again over a blockade imposed by the coalition, after a November 4 rebel missile attack that was intercepted near Riyadh worldwide airport.

"The decision of Popular General Congress to take initiative and align itself with its people will free Yemen from loyal militias to Iran", he said in a statement released by Saudi SPA Agency, in reference to Saleh's party.

"The people have revolted against Houthi aggression", he said.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, tells VOA that former president Saleh has a "strong political instinct" and that he made his move against the Houthis at a time when the situation on the ground is favorable.

However, in a statement, Saleh's party, the GPC, ordered their supporters to defy Houthi's orders and to "defend their homeland, their revolution, and their unity".

The head of the Houthi's Ansarullah group, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, has described Saleh's change of heart as "sedition", and appealed to him to show more wisdom and maturity. The coalition has also been accused of committing war crimes through indiscriminate attacks on residential areas in cities controlled by the rebel forces.

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

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