Monday, 11 December, 2017

Yemen's deadly civil war takes an unexpected turn

Smoke rises during the battle between former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's supporters and the Houthi fighters in Sanaa Yemen Decemb Smoke rises during the battle between former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's supporters and the Houthi fighters in Sanaa Yemen Decemb
Judith Alexander | 03 December, 2017, 01:36

The former Yemeni president's break with the Houthis came after five days of bitter clashes around the capital, Sana'a, between his supporters and those of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. Hostilities between the two sides broke out on Wednesday. The country has since fallen into chaos and Mr Saleh later joined the Houthis to drive Mr Hadi out of the capital in 2014. Hadi ran uncontested, won a landslide victory and was expected to resign two years later, but failed to do so amid increasing pressure from the Houthi rebels.

In March 2015, warplanes from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and other allies began airstrikes on rebel positions in Yemen. 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.

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.

Former President Saleh's General People's Congress party, accused the Houthis of failing to honor the truce and said in a statement on its website that the Houthis bear responsibility for dragging the country into a civil war.

Hadi's office also commended the continuous support of the Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia and the response to get rid of the "worst bloody sectarian coup supported by Iran".

Rajah Badie, spokesman for the internationally recognized Yemeni government in exile in Riyadh, told Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV that his forces "call on all Yemenis to support the uprising (being led by Saleh)", and that the uprising "spells the end of Iranian meddling in the country".

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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", he said, according to Al Masirah TV. 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.

The Houthi chief also accused Saleh of secret collaboration with the leaders of the coalition.

The war in Yemen, the poorest country of the Arab world, is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of our times.

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.

Saudi Arabia responded to the incident with a blockade of Yemen.

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