Arab Coalition Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki told a presser on Monday that the coalition is prepared to provide a “safe exit” for General People's Congress (GPC) leaders who wish to part away from the alliance with coupist Houthi militias.
Col. Maliki said that upon communication, coalition forces will safely extract loyalists of the late president Ali Abdallah Saleh from the Houthi-controlled Sanaa.
Iran-backed militia says it killed GPC leader Saleh, who sought peace with Saudi Arabia, as he fled the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.
Yemen’s civil war has taken a dramatic turn after Iranian-backed Houthis killed Saleh, punishing him for switching sides and seeking peace with Saudi Arabia. Back in 2014, Saleh loyalists and Houthis staged a nationwide coup in hopes of toppling the freely elected and internationally-recognized government headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Abdullah al-Hamdi, former deputy education minister in the coup-styled government, deserted the movement and cooperated with the Arab Coalition for his safe departure, a move which Col. Maliki welcomed.
Following deserters abandoning the Houthi stronghold, coup leaders instructed other officials in Sanaa to send a letter to the UN Security Council asking them to recognize Sanaa-based authorities in hopes of gaining legitimacy for their institutions.
On the other hand, Col. Maliki said the Arab Coalition has spent relentless efforts to help the people of Al-Mahra province in Yemen in the aftermath of tropical cyclone Luban.
Col. Maliki said they have allocated 10 helicopters and are continuing land and air relief efforts to assist the people of Al-Mahra.
He added that 60 members of Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defense forces have been dispatched to help mitigate the impact of cyclone Luban.
“The Yemeni National Army continues to liberate sites under militia control,” he said, adding that the “coalition’s efforts are continuous at all levels to support the Yemeni people.”
He point out that there are 22 fully operational relief ports in Yemen, calling on the Yemeni people to communicate with the coalition to facilitate the delivery of aid.
Col. Maliki also said militia elements are using mosques as weapons depots.