Withdraw immediately from Sanaa, Hadi tells Houthis

Withdraw immediately from Sanaa, Hadi tells Houthis
Yemen's president tells Houthis to leave the capital as troops and drones pound al-Qaeda positions.
3 min read
27 October, 2014
The Houthis took over Sanaa on September 21 (Getty)
Yemen's President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi has delivered a strongly worded message to the Houthi movement to withdraw its fighters "immediately" from Sanaa and other cities that they have captured.

Tribal sources say that Yemeni troops and a US drone had earlier hit positions held by suspected members of a loose alliance of al-Qaeda and Sunni tribesmen opposed to the Houthis.

The Houthis captured Sanaa on September 21, and have since taken over other parts of the country with little or no resistance from regular troops.

The only resistance to the Houthis' advance in the central provinces of Ibb and al-Bayda came from local tribesmen and al-Qaeda fighters.

In the capital, Sanaa, state security forces and the army quickly capitulated as the Houthis advanced.

The government later signed a "peace agreement" with the Houthis, whose fighters are now in de facto control of the capital.

Hadi's message appears to reflect a growing frustration and impatience with the Houthis. He accused the movment of  "trying to take over the role of the state under the pretext of confronting al-Qaeda in a bid to conquer more provinces".

Hadi was addressing the army, of which he is the supreme commander.

"What has happened during the past month and is taking place today is unworthy of a deep-rooted institution for which the Yemeni people have struggled to be strong... and biased only towards the nation under all circumstances," Hadi said.

Interior minister's resignation

The army's reaction to the Houthi expansion has raised eyebrows in Yemen, and the minister of defence, Muhammed Nasser Ahmad, has come under particular scrutiny.

The interior minister, Abdo Hussain al-Tareb, left his post on Friday and flew to the United States, sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

In his resignation letter, the minister said that "the state has given up its tasks and duties and has shown
     These practices fall within the context of collusion and betrayal of the homeland.
- Interior minister Abdo Hussain al-Tareb
 unjustifiable leniency towards the Houthi rebels.

"These practices fall within the context of collusion and betrayal of the homeland," Tareb added, in an apparent dig at the defence minsiter - who was in charge of the national army during the Houthi attack on Sanaa.

Fighting in Rada

Yemeni security officials have said that 250 people have been killed in the past three days of fighting between the Houthis and anti-Houthi tribal forces in Rada, in al-Bayda province. Al-Qaeda are also said to be fighting the Houthis in the town.

The Qifa tribe said on Monday that they had forced the Houthis out of the Manasih area in Rada.

Tribal sources also said that two vehicles carrying suspected al-Qaeda militants were struck by a US drone near Rada on Saturday, leaving 10 dead.