Yemen's anti-Saudi alliance members clash for second day, three killed

Katrina Barker
December 3, 2017

Security forces loyal to Saleh joined forces with the Houthis in 2014, and they went on to capture swathes of territory together and fight government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition.

"I call on our brothers and the Arab coalition to halt their aggression, allow access to medical and relief aid, open airports and we will turn the page", Saleh said in a televised speech.

Three-fourths of Yemenis need some kind of humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs, worldwide observers have said, with more than 17 million people facing food insecurity, including 8.4 million at risk of starvation.

Later in the day, Saleh said he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition pounding Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.

The infighting threatens to unravel the fragile alliance that controls the capital and has been battling the Saudi-backed government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Yemen's war.

"The decision by (Saleh's) General People's Congress to take the lead and their choice to side with their people will free Yemen of. militias loyal to Iran", the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said.

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.

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, tells VOA that former president Saleh has a "strong political instinct" and that he made his move against the Houthis at a time when the situation on the ground is favorable.

In a statement on Saturday the Saudi-led coalition praised Saleh for "taking the lead" in the conflict.

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

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.

The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and the ICRC urged the parties to avoid targeting civilians.

Earlier, Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) 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.

The war in Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, killing at least 10,000 people and leading to widespread hunger and disease.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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