OVER 100 people, mainly Houthi fighters, were killed in clashes in the Yemeni capital Sanaa at the weekend, when the group’s alliance with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh fell apart.
Although they had been united since 2015 in resisting Saudi-backed forces seeking to return ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to office, Mr Saleh announced on Saturday that he was ready to turn a “new page” in relations with the Riyadh-led regional coalition.
His offer would require Saudi Arabia and its allies to stop military attacks on Yemen as a first step.
“I call upon the brothers in neighbouring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighbourliness,” he said on TV.
His comments were welcomed by the Saudi-led coalition, which said it was “confident of the will of the leaders and sons” of Mr Saleh’s General People’s Congress to return to the Arab fold, repeating Riyadh’s allegation that the Houthi movement is a creature of Iran.
Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi called on Mr Saleh to “show more wisdom and maturity.”
However, a separate statement from Mr Saleh’s erstwhile allies branded his speech “sedition” and “a coup against our alliance and partnership” that has “exposed the deception of those who claim to stand against aggression.”
Mr Hadi, who is in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia, commented that he would support “any party confronting Houthi terrorist gangs.”