UAE 'instructed Yemen's Saleh to ally with Houthis', former spokesman alleges
The UAE convinced late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to form an alliance with the Houthis, his former spokesperson alleged this week.
In an interview with Kremlin-linked Sputnik news agency, Yasser al-Yamani accused "all parties" of bringing Yemen to the disastrous humanitarian state it is currently in.
But it was his claim that the UAE instructed Saleh to form an alliance with Houthi rebels, before the rebels' takeover of the capital almost four years ago, which drew the most attention in Arabic media.
"The truth is that the UAE has planned to lose Amran under the pretext of defeating the Muslim Brotherhood," Yamani claimed.
He said that the the fall of Amran - a town, close to the capital, that the rebels captured in July 2014 - "was a conspiracy between Saleh and the UAE".
"The UAE arranged the fall of Amran under the pretext of overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood," he said.
Abu Dhabi remains one of the region's strongest opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, after allied political parties came to power following elections in Egypt and Tunisia in the years after the 2011 Arab Spring.
Houthi fighters took over Yemen's capital of Sanaa on 21 September 2014, with behind-the-scenes assistance from Saleh, forcing the government to flee south.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia formed a coalition of Arab states in March 2015 to intervene in Yemen and back the Aden-based government, when the Houthis moved south.
Salah was later murdered by Houthi rebels when he attempted to flee the capital.
Although the UAE is a key player in the Yemen war, it has been accused of backing southern separatists and using the conflict to strenghthen its military and economic interests in the country.