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Asiri to Asharq Al-Awsat: Houthis’ Call for Parliament Session is Political 'Bankruptcy’ - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh- Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman General Ahmed Asiri announced on Wednesday that rebel militias in Yemen were suffering great losses. “The legitimate forces now control 80 percent of Yemeni territories while in March 2015, they had no control on the ground. Also, a large number of Houthi rebels were killed and their military powers destroyed,” he said.

Fighting resumed in Yemen after a U.N.-brokered peace talks in Kuwait between government representatives and Houthi rebels ended without a breakthrough.

Asiri, who is the spokesperson for the Arab Coalition fighting to restore the rule of the internationally recognized government in Yemen, told Asharq Al-Awsat in a telephone conversation that calls from rebels to hold a parliament session next Saturday is evidence of their “bankruptcy” and their continuous miserable plays.

“What they are trying to do is an attempt to delude the international community that they are keen on filling the political vacuum in Yemen,” the general said.

Asiri said the missiles which landed inside Saudi territories “were a reaction from rebel militias to the attacks launched by the Yemeni Army with the Arab coalition.”

The spokesperson said a large number of Houthis killed during the past weeks were children who had participated in the fighting operations.

Asiri asserted that the moves and violations of Houthis did not stop during the peace talks held lately in Kuwait. “We did not want to escalate, but have called for self-restraint because we were seeking to achieve peace.”

Commenting on the military operations in Yemen, Asiri said: “We never said we wanted to invade Sana’a. However, we only target military forces that are helping rebels maintain their coup.”

The leadership of the Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s government announced the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted on Wednesday two ballistic missiles launched from Yemeni territory toward the cities of Abha and Khamis Mushayt.

The statement said that the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted the ballistic missiles early in the morning prior to causing any damage.

The leadership also stressed that the Arab coalition air forces quickly targeted the sources from where the rockets were launched on the outskirts of Amran.

In the Saudi capital Riyadh, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik Al-Mekhlafi said in a press conference that a political council formed by the rebels is “constitutionally void” and is tantamount to an attempt to overthrow the government.

Mekhlafi said the rebels’ political council contravenes and violates all agreements.

He warned that any session convened by this council would amount to treason, calling on Arab parliamentarians to take action against the rebels.

“We have received confirmations from the majority of parliament members that they were not going to attend the meeting expected to be held next Saturday.”

On Wednesday, the Yemeni government called on all countries that support the Gulf initiative to take a clear and honest position regarding the rebel actions.

The government said rebel militias plan to impose unilateral steps and measures, which is a clear violation of the constitutional and legal legitimacy and a threat to national unity and for social peace and security.

Lately, Houthi rebels announced they would convene the parliament, and would form a “political council,” which the Yemeni government says has no legitimacy and constitutes a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Constitution of Yemen.