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Houthis in Yemen launch maneuvers near Saudi border

The fighters of the Houthi movement shout slogans during a rally against US and Saudi intervention in Yemen, in the capital, Sana’a, March 6, 2015. (© AFP)

Yemen’s Houthi movement has staged a military drill in a city along the border with Saudi Arabia.

The military maneuvers were organized by the Ansarullah revolutionaries in the city of Kitaf in the province of Sa’ada, which is the birthplace of the movement, on Thursday.

According to reports, thousands of the members of the Houthi movement participated in the drill, in which artillery, rockets, and other weapons were used.

A Houthi media official said the drill was not meant to “pose a threat to anyone.”

This comes as Saudi Arabia has approved fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s proposed plan to hold the country’s national dialogue in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, instead of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, which is currently under the control of the Houthis.

The Houthi movement has strongly condemned the Saudi measure, unequivocally refusing to participate in the talks.

Hadi stepped down in January, but the Yemeni parliament did not approve his resignation, which he later withdrew after leaving the capital. The Houthi movement, however, said that Hadi had lost his legitimacy after escaping Sana’a.

The embattled Yemeni president fled Sana’a on February 21 after weeks under effective house arrest and went to the southern port city of Aden, where he said he would resume duties.

Recently, an aide to Hadi also quoted him as saying that he considers Aden to be Yemen’s capital.

Some Persian Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have already relocated their embassies from Sana’a to Aden.


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