Armed militias backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Tehran-aligned Houthis returned to the cycle of tension after Houthi gunmen stormed the coup-established foreign ministry bureaus in the capital Sana’a.
Houthi militiamen then prevented the pro-Saleh foreign minister Hisham Sharaf from entering the ministry.
A source at the internationally-recognized government in Aden described what is going on as “settling scores and tightening the grip on Saleh by the Houthis.”
The source also stressed that “coup tactics are self-destructive” and that “what is happening is evidence of the hatred fellow coup members harbor towards each other—however, it absolves neither from legal or judicial responsibility or accountability.”
The number of raids by Houthi militias against ministerial buildings located in coup-held territory have increased.
Unlike the Houthis’ predominantly militarized role in the coup, most ministries are run by Saleh loyalists.
Only a week ago, gunmen stormed the health ministry offices and assaulted the minister in office.
Houthis continue to chase former politicians in Sana’a.
There have been repeated incursions and accounts of humiliation registered, which reached the point physical offenses carried out against coup ministers.
“Targeting Sharaf, one of the most efficient political assistants and foreign communications experts, suggests that the two coup partners disagree on the most sensitive point—which is opposing legitimate authorities and the Arab coalition,” said Yassine al-Tamimi, a Yemeni political analyst.
He told Asharq Al-Awsat that what happened to Sharaf “is an episode in a longer series of targeting coup ministers affiliated with Saleh and who represent the political line of the General People’s Congress. This likely means that Houthis decided to deplete Saleh and his party, ousting them from the scene.”
Meanwhile, pro-government Yemeni army forces and the Popular Resistance announced on Sunday that they have officially restored their control over new strategic positions, which were controlled by insurgency militias in northeastern Al-Jawf province.