Yemen's Saleh Calls for 'New Page' in Relations with Saudi-led Coalition

Randolph Lopez
December 3, 2017

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of Gulf states against Houthi rebels who ousted the pro-Saudi, internationally-recognized government in Yemen in 2015. Broadcasting of Yemen al-Youm was stopped shortly after.

"I call on our brothers in neighbouring countries ... to stop their aggression and lift the blockade ... and we will turn the page", Mr Saleh said in a televised speech on Saturday, according to Agence France-Presse.

Saleh ruled Yemen from its unification in 1990 until he resigned under pressure in 2012, ceding power to his then vice-president Hadi.

Stressing that Yemen's interests lie in avoiding sedition, the Houthi leader called on citizens and tribal fighters to focus on the battle against the invading Saudi regime and stay away from any provocative acts. The coalition is supported by some Western nations, including the U.S. and the United Kingdom, which provide intelligence, refueling and weapons for the war effort.

On Saturday, the Houthis fired three mortar rounds towards Tareq's house, while Saleh's supporters burned Houthi military vehicles; there are casualties from both sides. but there are no specific figures as the fighting is still ongoing.

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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).

The Saudi-led coalition has fought Saleh loyalists and the Iran-backed Houthis rebels on behalf of the government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi since March 2015. A spokesman said: "Saleh's speech is a coup against our alliance and partnership. and exposed the deception of those who claim to stand against aggression".

The Houthi group leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, had earlier appealed to Mr Saleh to avoid any escalation, saying that the crisis would only serve Yemen's enemies. There is a patchwork of forces, including Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, Hezbollah, whatever ragtag troops Saudi Arabia brought in like Senegal units. Moreover, Yemen, which was already poorest country in Middle East, is on brink of starvation, with three-quarters of its 28 million people dependent on humanitarian aid. "Riyadh is facing serious financial difficulties".

The civil war has left 10,000 dead, displaced to two million people and caused an epidemic of cholera that has affected almost anor million.

A statement from Saleh's General People's Congress Party said three guards were killed when Houthi forces attacked the house of Tarek Saleh, Ali Abdullah Saleh's nephew, adding that they also besieged the residence of Ibrahim Sharaf, a party member and foreign minister of the Sanaa-based government.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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