Yemen's Houthis: Saleh's overture to Saudi 'a coup'

Casey Dawson
December 3, 2017

Four supporters of Ali Abdullah Saleh were killed when a gunfight erupted on Wednesday in the center of Sanaa, after the Houthis broke into the city's main mosque complex and fired RPGs and grenades.

The coalition, which has fought Saleh and the Iran-backed Houthis since 2015, last month imposed a total blockade on the impoverished country after a rebel missile was shot down near Riyadh.

Pointing to global law, Lowcock said, "Wars have rules, and they need to be complied with".

Saleh, who was forced to step down by a 2011 mass uprising against his 33 years in office, said Yemen's parliament, which is dominated by his GPC party, was the only legitimate power in the country and was ready for talks with the coalition. He fought six wars against the Huthis when he was president, but joined forces with them to take over the capital in 2014. "Should the blockade continue, we know what (targets) would cause great pain and how to reach them", he said in a speech broadcast on Al-Masira.

Officials working at the TV station say Houthis raided its headquarters.

The source said that clashes had renewed on Saturday between the Houthis and Saleh's supporters in the Yemeni capital Sana'a.

"The meeting calls for turning a new page with all the political sides. and to form a broad national coalition that will lay the foundations for a new era and unify everyone against the coup militia", the statement said.

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The coalition accuses non-Arab Iran of trying to expand its influence into Arab countries, including Yemen, which shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, by aligning themselves with the Houthis and Saleh.

The United Nations has warned that the country faces mass starvation unless the Saudi-led coalition allows more food aid to enter the impoverished country.

But 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.

"It is not odd or surprising that Saleh turns back on a partnership he never believed in", the group's political bureau said in a statement.

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".

"I appeal to the leader Saleh to show more wisdom and maturity. not to heed incitement calls, and help restore security to the country through cooperation", al-Houthi further said.

At least 9 Houthi rebels were killed in clashes with government forces in northern Yemen, according to the Yemeni army website on Friday.

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