Yemen rebel ally to Saudis: Let's 'turn the page'

03 December, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh

The coalition accuses Saleh, who heads the General People's Congress party, of betraying his Arab neighbors by joining forces with the Houthi rebels.

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 global airport.

"I call on our brothers in neighbouring countries.to stop their aggression and lift the blockade. and we will turn the page", Saleh said.

The coalition has been fighting to defeat the Iran-backed Houthis along with Mr Saleh's forces in Yemen since March 2015.

Fearing renewed clashes, people were opting to stay at home on Thursday night, witnesses said, as armed supporters of both sides deployed in some streets.

Saleh vowed to "turn the page" and make peace with the Saudi-led coalition if it ends its attacks and blockades on Yemen, as his alliance with Houthi rebels continued to fray.

The call came as his supporters battled Houthi fighters for a fourth day in the capital Sanaa as the two sides traded blame for a rift between allies that could affect the course of the civil war, Reuters reported. Together these groups have been fighting against the Saudi-backed forces of ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi since 2015.


A statement issued by the Yemeni presidency on Saturday evening said they supported all parties facing the coup allies, which they described as "an arm of the Persian Iranian project in Yemen" in the first comment on former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's call for a popular uprising against the Houthis. The country has since fallen into chaos and Mr Saleh later joined the Houthis to drive Mr Hadi out of the capital in 2014.

Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, founder of the Houthi movement, was killed by Saleh government forces in 2004.

More than 8,670 people have been killed and 49,960 injured since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen conflict, according to the UN.

Saleh's supporters managed on Saturday to seize control of several embassies and government buildings from the Houthis. "The priority has been and still is to confront the forces of aggression".

The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and the ICRC urged the parties to avoid targeting civilians.

The head of the Houthis' Ansarullah group warned that the biggest victor from what he described as Saleh's "sedition" was the Saudi-led coalition.

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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