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Houthi Minister: Saleh Granted Military Ranks to Qaeda Members | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Boys who are part of the Houthi rebels hold weapons as they ride on the back of a patrol truck in Sana’a March 13, 2015. Reuters

Riyadh- The pro-Houthi Minister of Youth and Sport in Yemen’s insurgent government, Hassan Mohammed Zaid, has revealed that former President Ali Abdullah Saleh used to grant military ranks to al-Qaeda members and other bandits.

Zaid accused Saleh of benefiting from them to assassinate academics, soldiers and security officials.

In the context of justifying appointments made by Houthis in military and security institutions for officers who lack the required qualifications, Zaid said that Saleh’s former regime used to grant military ranks to gangs and al-Qaeda members to benefit from them for the murder of national figures in the country.

The Houthi official added that Saleh has not attended any military academy and was illiterate before becoming president, yet no one made any objection.

In defending the appointments, he stressed that the officials being appointed by the Houthi insurgents in security, military and civilian institutions are competent.

Zaid said: “The success of the leadership of the security apparatus of Ansar Allah in operating these agencies is evidence on its ability and competence.”

Criticism directed at the appointment of Maj. Gen. Abdulhakim al-Khaiwani is the result of the inability of terrorist groups and intelligence services to disturb security under his rule, he added.

The Houthi minister not only slammed Saleh but also proved he is sectarian when he verbally assaulted a Yemeni citizen on his Facebook page after the latter criticized him.