The Yemeni capital, Sana’a, witnessed heavy clashes between the Houthis and the supporters of their ally – former Yemen President Ali Abdallah Saleh – during the last three days, according to Yemeni sources. Several fighters from the both sides were killed or injured as a result of the clashes.
On December 2, Yemeni sources reported that the clashes between Abdallah Saleh supporters and the Houthis spreaded into Hajjah province and several other areas.
The clashes between the two allies first broke out on November 29 when the Houthis attacked and captured the Saleh mosque in Sana’a. The site was used by Abdallah Saleh supporters as a HQ, according to local sources. The main motive of the Houthis is still unknown, and many experts claimed that it is nothing more than a “show of power”, especially that the Houthis withdraw from the mosque hours later.
Abdallah Saleh criticize the Houthis, and said that he is ready to talk with the Saudi-led coalition on December 2. Many Yemenis viewed Abdallah Saleh’s statements as the end of his alliance with the Houthis.
“I call on our brothers in neighboring countries … to stop their aggression and lift the blockade … and we will turn the page … We vow to our brothers and neighbors that, after a ceasefire is in place and the blockade is lifted … we will hold dialogue directly through the legitimate authority represented by our parliament,” Abdallah Saleh said according to the Qatari al-Jazzera TV
The Saudi-led quickly welcomed Abdallah Saleh’s statement, and said that his decision will free Yemeni from the Iran allies according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
“The decision by [Abdallah 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 Saudi-led coalition said in an official statement, according to SPA.
In response, a spokesman for the Houthis accused Abdallah Saleh of starting a “coup” in Sana’a and condemned his statements, according to the Yemeni al-Masirah TV.
“Saleh’s speech is a coup against our alliance and partnership … and exposed the deception of those who claim to stand against aggression,” the Houthis spokesman said according to al-Masirah.
The tension between the Houthis and the supporters of Abdallah Saleh will likely increase in the upcoming days. However, the millitary situation in Yemen will not likely change unless Abdallah Saleh decided to join the Saudi-led coalition, winch is a very unlikely, according to experts.