Three days have passed since Saudi Arabia announced it will launch its military intervention against Yemen to fight the Shi’a rebel troops led by Abdul Malik Al-Houthi.
Al-Houthi and his troops have besieged president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s presidential palace, forcing him to resign.
Al-Houthi responded in an official statement published on the group’s own TV channel, Almasirah, on Thursday, urging all Yemeni citizens to unite and counter this intervention.
In particular, he said there will be two fronts formed, one which will work on internal affairs and the other on foreign affairs. The internal affairs front will consist of five committees – political, mobilisation, security, support and media.
In his speech, Al-Houthi said: “The security committee is responsible for monitoring and preventing the crimes and killings; the support committee will be giving supplies to aid fighters in their battles; the media committee is responsible for shedding light on the struggle of Yemenis from one side and their resistance from another side. The political and mobilisation committees are responsible for stirring the public opinion towards countering any kind of intervention.”
The intervention, which is supported by other Arab countries, including Egypt, managed to gain control of the no-fly zone over Yemen. Airstrikes have reportedly killed at least 11 and possibly as many as 34 civilians during the first day of bombings in the capital Sanaa, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Saturday.
Hadi, however was able to arrive in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt to attend the 26th Arab league Summit, where he expressed his concern towards the situation in Yemen and urged the Gulf countries to continue their intervention until Al-Houthis surrender.
HRW expressed its concerns towards Saudi Arabia’s past use of cluster bombs, which are indiscriminate weapons, and that they will be used in the current fighting.
Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists said it is concerned for the safety of Yemeni journalists amid escalating violence in the country.
“The media in Yemen should be allowed to report on the conflict, not become targets in it,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator Sherif Mansour in an official statement. “All outlets, regardless of perspective or affiliation, must be allowed to operate freely in Yemen during this critical time.”