The Saudi government’s plot to stage a coup in Yemen to topple President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi fell flat after sensitive information leaked, informed sources disclosed on Sunday.
“Saudi Arabia planned to stage a coup in Yemen similar to what it aided to happen in Egypt in a move to topple Yemeni President Mansur Hadi and replace him with one of the Yemeni generals loyal to ousted dictator Ali Abdullah Salih, but this coup plot failed before it could be put into action,” an informed source in Yemen’s army told FNA on the condition of anonymity.
The source underlined that the Al Saud regime has been discontent with President Mansur Hadi’s policies towards Yemen’s Islamist groups, specially the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Al-Tajammu Al-Yamani Lil-Islah), and first sought to bribe him into fighting against these groups.
Separate sources in Yemen’s foreign and interior ministries confirmed the above, saying that Hadi’s stances on the overthrow of the Islamic government of Mohammad Mursi in Egypt declared during his visit to Qatar on July 23 had enraged the Saudis, pushing them to offer the bribe to the Yemeni president.
“The Saudi officials tried to persuade President Mansur Hadi to make Yemen’s Congregation for Reform face a fate similar to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” the military source added.
“Then the Saudi officials informed the Yemeni president of their stances towards the Congregation for Reform in a several-hour secret meeting they had in August during President Mansur Hadi’s a stopover in Riyadh upon his return to Yemen from a visit to Washington where he met US President Barack Obama,” he added.
“During the meeting in the Saudi capital on August 3, the Saudi rulers offered financial aid to President Hadi Mansur in lieu of toppling Islamist groups in his country,” continued the source.
The military source said the Yemeni president met with Saudi Ambassador in Sana’a Ali Mohammed Al-Hamdan on September 13 and asked Al-Hamdan about Riyadh’s offer, but the Saudi envoy did not provide him with any response because it had taken the Yemeni president a long time to answer to the offer and the Saudi regime had already started devising a plan to topple Hadi.
The source declined to mention the details of how Sana’a realized and neutralized the coup plot, saying that revealing the details would disclose his identity, but he said once the president did not receive any response for his September 13 contact with the Saudi envoy, the government in Sana’a suspected that an Egypt-like plot might be underway in Yemen and ordered top secret investigations into the meetings and contacts of ranking military and state officials.
“Elements in Yemen’s army eventually found out and defused the coup plot,” he said.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been in tightening rivalry in different parts of the Arab world in the last three years, specially in Syria, Egypt and Yemen.
In Syria, the Saudis could eventually overpower Qatar six months ago and picked up the leading role as the main sponsor of Wahhabi and Salafi groups fighting against the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad. Both regimes in Riyadh and Doha have been investing billions of dollars to topple the Syrian government in the last two and a half years.
In Egypt, the pro-Qatari Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammad al-Mursi was toppled in an army coup several months ago. Following the coup, the several-billion-dollar financial aids promised by Qatar to the government of Mohammad Mursi were withdrawn overnight and replaced by similar aids by Saudi Arabia.
The historical ties of Muslim Brotherhood and Doha have long been a key point in Ryiadh’s animosity towards the Islamist movement, although both represent a radical school of Sunni Islam.
The Saudi-backed coup in Egypt has angered not only Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood, but their regional allies as well. In August, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the recent power transfer in Egypt a military coup sponsored by Saudi Arabia and an unforgivable treachery by the Wahhabi rulers in Riyadh.
The Turkish prime minister made the remarks in a meeting on August 13 attended by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Interior Minister Muammer Guler, National Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, and Head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Hakan Fidan.
“This act of treason by the Wahhabi rulers of Saudi Arabia is a poisonous and unfair sword used against the Muslim World which made Turkey’s plans for the Middle East to fall flat,” Erdogan said at the meeting.
The Turkish foreign minister called on his political and security teams to prepare a list of possible actions and plans to make Saudi Arabia withdraw from its policies in Egypt.