UAE applauds military campaign by Yemen ex-president against Houthis

UAE applauds military campaign by Yemen ex-president against Houthis

"I call on our brothers in neighbouring countries ... to stop their aggression and lift the blockade ... and we will turn the page", Mr Saleh said in a televised speech on Saturday, according to Agence France-Presse.

Houthis and Saleh loyalists jointly overran Sanaa and much of the country in 2014, forcing the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. The Houthi allied themselves with the forces loyal to Saleh and have fought a devastating war against forces loyal to Hadi and his foreign backers.

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the US-backed Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.

Saleh made the announcement on Saturday on Yemen Today TV as clashes continued in the capital Sanaa between forces loyal to the former president Saleh and Houthi rebels.

Tens of thousands of Yemeni rebel supporters gathered in Sanaa on Thursday a day after deadly clashes between the Huthis and their allies sparked fears of further violence in the rebel-held capital.

MEE tried to contact Houthi sources for comment on the fighting, but they declined to speak.Some Houthi supporters reported news via social media that Houthi fighters still control most of Sana'a.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Saleh agreed to leave presidency in 2012, n 33 years in front of Yemen, after months of popular protests and worldwide pressure (including that of its neighbours) to prevent anor civil war being unleashed as in Libya or Syria.

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Street fighting in the war-wracked country comes amid heightened regional tensions, most notably after Houthi rebels early last month launched a missile that was intercepted near the Saudi capital.

"The people have revolted against Houthi aggression", he said.

However, the Houthis were less open to Mr Saleh's idea.

The United Nations has warned that the country faces mass starvation unless the Saudi-led coalition allows more food aid to enter the impoverished country.

In a statement carried by the Saudi-owned Al-Hadath channel, the coalition said it was "confident of the will of the leaders and sons" of Saleh's GPC party to return to Arab fold.

The GPC appealed to the army and security forces to remain neutral in the conflict.

"It needs to be fully wound down if we are to avoid an atrocious humanitarian tragedy involving the loss of millions of lives, the like of which the world has not seen for many decades", UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said Friday addressing reporters in Geneva.

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