Yemen rebel leader Ali Abdullah Saleh seeks dialogue amid escalating violence

Kristopher Drake
December 3, 2017

He said that the Houthi militias had been seeking "in various ways to reproduce the model of the mandate of the Iranian jurist, and bet on the decision of Yemen and its sovereignty to the malignant evil and mischief in Qom and Tehran".

Saleh's calls came during a live television address on Saturday, in which he vowed to change if Saudi Arabia stopped its "aggression" and lifted restrictions on Yemen, calling for "opening a new page with neighboring countries".

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.

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said he was open to talks with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Huthi rebels, as his supporters fought the rebels in the capital, Sana'a.

The Saudis want to restore the internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was forced into retreat and then exile by the fighting.

Saleh made the announcement on Saturday on Yemen Today TV as clashes continued in the capital Sanaa between forces loyal to the former president Saleh and Houthi rebels. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals. Saleh has accused the Houthis of seeking to monopolise power and the rebels have accused the strongman of treason over his suspected contacts with Saudi Arabia.

The blockade, which the United Nation warns is deepening Yemen's humanitarian crisis, was imposed in response to a Houthi missile that was intercepted near Riyadh airport on November 4. The country has since fallen into chaos and Mr Saleh later joined the Houthis to drive Mr Hadi out of the capital in 2014.

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. It also called on supporters, including tribal fighters, to "defend themselves, their country, their revolution and their republic".

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.

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

A statement from Saleh's GPC appealed on Saturday to security and military forces and all public employees to be neutral and not to implement instructions given by the Houthis in all provinces.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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