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Yemen frustrated all Saudi goals in Bab-el-Mandeb: Yemeni official

16 January 2017 14:01

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The president of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council says all attempts by Saudi-backed militants to advance in Yemen’s southwestern coastal areas near the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait have been thwarted.

Speaking to the Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television, Saleh al-Samad said the mercenaries are fighting with the support of Riyadh and on behalf of Israel.

The battle in the western coastal areas “is not with the mercenaries, nor Saudi Arabia, it is a battle with Israel, primarily,” he said.

He added that Saudi Arabia is too weak to launch such a wide military campaign against Yemen without Israel’s support, pointing to recent meetings between Saudi officials and a number of Israelis.

Referring to Israel’s expansion policy, Samad said Israel buys islands in Eritrea and Somalia with the aim of gaining control of the strategic waterway of Bab-al-Mandeb.

He also said that Saudi Arabia was the US and Israel’s next target of Yemen.

He accused Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Yemen’s former president who asked Saudi Arabia to launch war on his home country, of attempting to subjugate the Yemeni people by playing the economic card, in an apparent reference to the embargo that had been imposed on Yemen by Riyadh.

He also rejected allegations of a dispute between the Houthi Ansarullah movement and the General People’s Congress Party, saying that the blood of the two had been merged in the battlefields and that it was impossible for any dispute to erupt between them.

In a separate development, 40 Saudi-backed mercenaries, including senior commanders, were killed and injured as the Yemeni forces targeted their positions near the strategic Bab al-Mandeb Strait, southwest of Ta’izz on Sunday. The attack also destroyed the militants’ advanced military equipment.

Saudi Arabia began its military aggression against Yemen in March 2015 in a bid to restore power to Hadi, a Saudi ally.

The Saudi campaign has claimed the lives of more than 11,400 people, according to figures compiled and earlier released by the Yemeni non-governmental monitoring group Legal Center for Rights and Development.

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