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US Calls for Ending ‘Brutal Repression’ by Iranian-Backed Militias in Yemen

US Calls for Ending ‘Brutal Repression’ by Iranian-Backed Militias in Yemen

Saturday, 9 December, 2017 - 09:00
Houthis at a mass funeral of those killed in clashes with the pro-Saleh forces, EPA

The United States condemned on Friday Houthi militants suppressing political opponents (loyal to the General People's Congress), including the killing of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“We condemn the Houthis’ brutal repression of political opponents in Sana’a,” Friday’s statement by White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

That includes the Houthis’ killing last weekend of Saleh to punish him for switching sides.

The White House statement said that political negotiations were necessary to end the conflict in Yemen and to free the country from the malicious influence of Iranian-backed militias.

The White House also called on the Houthis to allow food, medicine and fuel to be distributed and accused them of political repression and brutality.

“The Iranian-backed Houthi militias must allow food, medicine, and fuel to be distributed throughout the areas they control, rather than diverted to sustain their military campaign against the Yemeni people,” Sanders added.

Houthi militiamen overrunning Sana’a have managed to isolate it, blocking social networks and text messages, and terrorizing locals.

The pro-Iranian group continues to carry out attacks and arrests against members of the GPC and loyalists of Saleh in Sana'a and neighboring provinces.

GPC sources said that the group is seeking to launch a second wave of arrests and executions against second and third ranking officials who refuse to pledge their allegiance under coercion.

A source close to GPC leader Qassem Labooza told Asharq Al-Awsat that the politician is under house arrest in Sana’a.

“They are trying to convince him along other leaders, including the head of the coup government, Abdul Aziz bin Habtour, to rejoin insurgency ranks and to head the GPC after Saleh’s death,” the source added.

In the meantime, Houthis on Friday put to death MPs from the pro-Saleh party in Khokha in the province of Hodeidah.  

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