Yemen Houthis rally in show of force after deadly clashes

Ali-Abdullah-Saleh

He says a new page must be opened in relations (with Saudi Arabia) and neighborly ties restored, putting an end to all (the animosity) that has taken place and that amicable relations can resume once there is a cease-fire (with the Saudi-led coalition) and their blockade of Yemeni ports and airports is lifted.

The two groups have been fighting the government of current President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who is backed by the Saudi-led coalition, for almost three years.

The fighting subsided by the afternoon as Saleh supporters secured control.

Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he is ready for a "new page" in ties with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country, in a move that could offer a pathway to end almost three years of war.

Saudi Arabia has been locked in a fight with the Houthi rebels since it joined the Yemen war in 2015.

Yemen fell into civil war in 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa. They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals.

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 Saudi-led coalition responded to Saleh's statement saying that it recognised the efforts of his General People's Congress (GPC) political party to rid Yemen of the evils of "sectarian terrorist militias", Saudi state media reported.

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However, the leader of the Houthis, Abdul Malik al-Houthi denied in a TV address on Saturday that his fighters had stormed the mosque, attributing the reason behind the clashes to some militias that want to create chaos in Sana'a.

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

"It is happening in coordination with it", referring to the Saudi-led coalition".

Meanwhile, Houthi leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, called for dialogue with Saleh and his rebel forces to end the growing violence between the two factions.

Saleh called for a joint ceasefire to be agreed on by his loyalists and the Houthi militia, after clashes entered their fourth day and hae resulted in the deaths of at least 80 people.

He told Yemenis all across the country that if they support him, "to defend the nation, the republic and the revolution". Saleh has accused the Houthis of seeking to monopolise power and the rebels have accused the strongman of treason over his suspected contacts with Saudi Arabia.

A statement from Saleh's GPC appealed on Saturday to security and military forces and all public employees to be neutral and not to implement instructions given by the Houthis in all provinces.

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