Houthi Leader Says Saleh Supporters' Behavior 'Unjustifiable', Urges Wisdom

03 December, 2017, 01:38 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Ali-Abdullah-Saleh

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

The address came as forces loyal to Saleh were engaged in battle with the troops of Ansar Allah, or the Houthi rebels, in the capital Sanaa.

The army said government forces had repelled a Houthi attack on Mt. Sebahtal in the northern Saada province, with the support of coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia, according to 26sepnews.net, Yemen's national military website.

He added: "We will deal with them in a positive way and what happened to Yemen is enough".

Together they have fought the Saudi-led coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 aiming to restore the fugitive President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

In a televised address, Saleh called for new relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which he and the Houthis have been battling for nearly three years (since March 2015).

A coalition statement said the decision to "take the lead and to side with their people will free Yemen of. militias loyal to Iran".

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"Saleh's speech is a coup against our alliance and partnership, and exposed the deception of those who claim to stand against aggression", al-Houthi said in a statement made Al Masirah TV.

But the latest feud erupted when Mr Saleh's supporters accused Houthi rebels of breaking into the city's main mosque complex.

Residents of Sana'a described heavy fighting on the streets of Hadda, a southern residential district of the Yemeni capital where many of Saleh's relatives, including his nephew Tareq, live, early on Saturday, with sounds of explosions and gunfire heard all over the area. In a televised interview, Salah also called for resuming relations with Saudi Arabia, if the Saudi-led coalition lifts its blockade of Yemeni ports and air facilities.

Three-fourths of Yemenis need some kind of humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs, worldwide observers have said, with more than 17 million people facing food insecurity, including 8.4 million at risk of starvation.

For coalition, former president betrayed Arabs by joining Huthi, a militia that emerged at end of last century to improve living conditions of ZaydĂ­ minority (a branch of Shi'a Islam that follows one-third of Yemenis) and that Saudi Arabia considers an Inst Rumeno of his rival Iran.

For his part, Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi called on Saleh to end what he called "the sectarian strife" that he has instigated, and threatened to take action against his supporters militarily if he does not.

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