Paris, London- Saudi defense advisor Major General Ahmad Asiri reaffirmed on Friday that Arab Coalition operations in Yemen are strategic and ‘careful,’ adding that they prioritize the safety of civilians.
The latest on battlefront developments give advantage to pro-government forces, said the coalition mouthpiece. He also highlighted that coalition operations are ongoing to uphold and advance on progress made.
Houthi militants, backed by Iran, next to armed loyalists supporting ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh have been leading a coup aiming to dislodge the constitutionally elected government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Maj. Gen Asiri, speaking at a seminar in Paris, said that “the Houthi militias in Yemen have established command and control centers among civilians.”
Headlining “current developments and the future of peace in Yemen”, the seminar saw Asiri explaining that aspirations held by Houthis and Saleh on legitimacy for the coup will not be successful or part of the solution.
“We are not against putschists partaking in the peace process solution, but we will not allow for a parallel state scenario to emerge in which militias remain above the law,” Asiri told Ahsarq Al-Awsat in a phone interview.
Arab coalition forces carry out military operations to reduce the capabilities and influence of the militias, and establish a strong pro-government military force. Asiri also pointed out that coalition forces will not allow for Houthi militias in Yemen to become as the “Hezbollah” militia in Lebanon.
He added that insurgents have one of two choices, either to assemble and establish themselves as a political bloc after the implementation of resolution 2216, or to uphold their current label “militia,” in which case they will be dealt with militarily, Asiri added.
For his part, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called in a speech to enable Yemen to restore stability “for its own benefit and for the benefit of the region”, which cannot be done without eliminating foreign interference, “especially Iran.”