News / Middle East

Yemen's President Blames Iran for Inciting Conflict

FILE - Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
FILE - Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Edward Yeranian

Yemen's president is accusing Iran of provoking current unrest in his country as Shi'ite Houthi rebels advance on the capital Sana'a. Fighting overnight north of the capital reportedly killed 11 people.  

A number of casualties were reported in fighting between the rebels and government forces in Jawf province overnight.  It was part of a series of low-level clashes between Yemen's army and the Zaidi Shi'ite forces under Abdel Malik al Houthi who are moving toward Sana'a.

Yemen's President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi is blaming Iran for inciting the conflict.  He claimed in a statement that Iran was trying to “trade Sana'a for the Syrian capital, Damascus,” a reference to Iranian support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

A meeting between the Yemeni president and representatives of the rebels originally scheduled for Thursday was postponed by 48 hours. The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to discuss the current conflict in Yemen on Friday.

Rebel leader Abdel Malik al Houthi demanded this week that the government resign and a new government be appointed. He also insisted that the government back down on a recent decision to raise fuel prices.

Hakim Almasmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post newspaper, tells VOA the Houthi rebels are trying to assert themselves as the most powerful political force in Yemen.

"We could easily say that 20 percent of the Yemenis right now support the Houthis and that's a very big majority, The Houthis are attempting to be the main force in the country, not to take power," Almasmari said. "They will not invade Sana'a, but their main obligation and their main goal is to ensure that they control the policy making of Yemen."

Almasmari says it's known that Iran is helping the Houthis, but notes the rebels are indigenous Yemenis who feel they've been marginalized by the Sunni majority.

"It is not a secret that the Iranians have been helping the Houthis for years now," Almasmari said. "So, the presidential comments like this is a sign of weakness. It's not a secret. He's not saying anything new. The Houthis today have hundreds of thousands of armed gunmen willing to fight and those are not Iranians. Those are Yemenis."

In July, the U.N. Security Council and the United States, in separate statements, expressed concern about Yemen's fighting and urged a peaceful reconciliation.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid