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No peace in sight for Yemen unless attacks and siege end, foreign troops leave: Senior official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A severely malnourished boy rests on a hospital bed at the Aslam Health Center, Hajjah, Yemen. (Photo by AP)

A member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council says there will be no peace in sight for the Arab country unless the Saudi-led coalition of aggressors stop their attacks, the siege is lifted and the occupying forces leave the country.  

“There is no political solution before the end of the aggression, lifting of the siege, ending the occupation and making reparations [for the losses],” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi said on his Twitter account on Wednesday.


هذه النقاط التسع بخصوص مارب التي قدمت قبل فترةولم تقبل من أبناءالشعب اليمني
وهي لا تحمل شروط تعجيزيةولأن لا رغبة في السلام بل يبيعون الكلام ويرفضون النقاط العملية
لم يتم القبول بأي حل لاهذه ولا وثيقةالحل الشامل
ولا حل سياسي قبل وقف العدوان ورفع الحصار وخروج الاحتلال وجبر الاضرار

— محمد علي الحوثي (@Moh_Alhouthi) March 16, 2021


He referred to a document containing nine provisions aimed at reducing tensions in Ma’rib Province and said, the 9-point document, which was presented some time ago, was not accepted by the Yemeni people, “because the other side does not want to establish peace in Yemen and only talks, and they do not accept any practical solution, neither this document nor a comprehensive solution" to end the war on Yemen.

The senior Yemeni official said earlier this week that Yemen was waiting for real action not mere words on peace in Yemen.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Sunday that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had told the UN's Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths during a call that the “United States supports a unified, stable Yemen free from foreign influence, and that there is no military solution to the conflict.”

“Blinken's comments on Yemen being free from foreign influence were positive," Houthi wrote in a post published on his Twitter page on Monday.

“We are waiting for [US] action to withdraw American elements and experts from the battle, and to neutralize American weapons and withdraw them from the confrontation. This is what we're looking for and what would be consistent with the comments,” he added.

Biden's policy on Yemen not different from Trump's  

Meanwhile, the spokesman for Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, said on Wednesday that the position of the new US administration is not any different from that of the previous administration.

He said Joe Biden’s administration is following the same policy as that of former president Donald Trump, rejecting any direct contact between Ansarullah members and the US side.  

He said the US has offered no new plan for peace in Yemen, noting Washington has, through Oman, presented an old plan for the resolution of the conflict, Abdul Salam told Al Jazeera, Al Alam TV network website reported.    

Abdul-Salam added that the US plan is not a new plan for the resolution of the Yemeni crisis as it was already presented by the United Nations.

"Through the Omani mediator, we are waiting for the US response to our vision for a solution [to the Yemeni crisis]," he said.

The spokesman for the Ansarullah movement had said in an interview with Yemen's al-Masirah television Friday evening that the US plan "doesn't include breaking the siege or ceasing fire. It is actually a detour which would lead to a resumption of a (Saudi) blockade diplomatically.”

“If they were serious to stop the aggression and siege, they would have declared a complete end to hostilities and blockade. We would then welcome the measure. Aggression and siege against Yemen have not stopped even for a single day over the past six years, so what is the US concept of ceasing fire or breaking the siege?” Abdul-Salam added.

'Yemen war foreign aggression not civil war'

The Yemeni deputy foreign minister on Wednesday described the Yemen war as “foreign aggression” not a civil war, criticizing the UN projection on the war, Yemen's al-Masirah TV reported.

Hussein al-Ezzi, speaking at a press conference, said the UN request from Sana’a for a ceasefire is unrealistic because there is a war going on between the two sides and such a request must be made by both sides, noting it was not Sana’a that initiated the war.

“All forms of war and siege, including prohibited weapons … were used against the Yemeni people, and the United Nations remained silent in the face of all of them. The UN envoy [to Yemen] distorted the facts at the Security Council and said that the targeting of Sana’a by Saudi Arabia was [Riyadh’s] response to the targeting of Saudi territory; something the Yemeni envoy himself knows better than the world that is a lie,” he said.

He expressed regret that the UN is turning a blind eye to the reality on the ground in Yemen.

“The Yemeni war is foreign aggression … not a civil war. Yemen did not decide to start this war, but the declaration of war was made by a foreign capital, and the military command of this war is in the hands of non-Yemeni forces,” he added.

Al Akhbar: Defeat of United States, Saudi Arabia to change equations in Ma'rib

Meanwhile, Lebanon-based Al Akhbar newspaper wrote on Wednesday that following victories of Yemeni army troops and allies against the Saudi-led coalition and their  mercenaries, the US has no option but to make concessions.

According to the report, the Saudis told Tim Lenderking, US special envoy for Yemen, in recent days that they will shift the military balance in Yemen, especially in the strategic city of Ma'rib, to their advantage, claiming that attacks by the Yemeni army and Popular Committees to liberate Ma'rib have also stopped.

The US administration is now moving towards offering a new package of concessions in favor of Sana’a, in an attempt to bring the latter to the negotiating table, and persuade it to accept the initiative of the "joint declaration" for a comprehensive ceasefire, the paper said.

The Ansarulalh spokesman has, however, clarified, “We are waiting for actions for retreat of the American personnel and experts from the battle, as well as the withdrawal of American weapons from the current confrontation, and also inform … lift of the siege.”

Until recently, according to experts, the United States thought that the Saudi-led coalition plans and contacts with the Arab tribes and terrorist groups in the province would prevent the fall of the province, but they proved wrong, the paper reiterated.

Over the past few weeks, Ma’rib has been the scene of large-scale operations by Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters, who are pushing against Saudi-sponsored militants loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

There are reports of widespread collapse of the ranks of the invading coalition forces.

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