Riyadh- Former president of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh urged media outlets and journalists to discredit and expose the truth behind Houthi militias led by Abdulmalik Badreddin al-Houthi, further polarizing coup ranks.
Iran-allied Houthi militias have been leading a coup along with armed loyalists backing ousted president Saleh, but recently a rift within the insurgency has placed Tehran’s allies at odds with Saleh.
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned news agency SPA issued a report showing escalated dispute between Houthis and Saleh’s forces. Other sources based in Sanaa, the coup’s de facto capital in Yemen, cited Saleh increasingly threatening members of the General People’s Congress, a political party chaired by Saleh, to denounce Houthis, labeling them as extremists.
Sources said that Saleh has also granted Yemen’s national broadcasting channel the green light to slam Houthi’s aspirations and expose their affiliations with Iran. Saleh had the national channel focus on Houthis selling allegiance to Tehran for a cheap price.
The channel also said that Houthis are nothing more than a group of militias seeking to loot public assets, ministries, and funds.
Such a clear turn of events shows that Saleh is prepared to fight against Houthis should he be able to secure a deal to end the war.
Saleh’s move came after Abdulmalik showed serious intentions towards killing Saleh– he had ordered Houthi media to stage a distraction story that would point the charge of assassinating Saleh away from militias.
Sources close to the matter in Sana’a said that Saleh has, during a recent meeting with a number of members of the General People’s Congress, threatened to sell out Houthis, describing them as extremists.
This is first outspoken action from Saleh against Iran-backed Houthi militias after the group’s escalation against him and his followers, which asserted Saleh currently studying a plan to retake control over Sana’a from the grip of Houthis.
Yemeni local media sources said both the General People’s Congress and Saleh have prepared a plan to confront Houthis. Their action plan kickstarts with local media demonizing Houthi militiamen and holding the group accountable for all the country’s strife, and that it sold out Yemen to Tehran clerics for cheap.
The final stage would be Saleh armed loyalists confronting the group militarily.
Members of the People’s Congress Party asked Saleh to review all undertable agreements with Houthis in preparation for disengaging from coup ranks.