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Yemeni official: Territorial gains forced US to recognize Ansarullah as legitimate actor

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)
Supporters of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement hold up their weapons during a demonstration outside the US embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, on January 18, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

A senior member of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement says territorial gains achieved by Yemeni army forces and their allied fighters in battles against Saudi-led coalition troops forced the United States to recognize his group as a legitimate actor in the war-battered Arab country.

“The confession of the US Special Envoy to Yemen [Timothy Lenderking] to Ansarullah's legitimacy is an implicit acknowledgment that Washington is spearheading the war on Yemen,” Abdul-Wahhab al-Mahbashi told Lebanon's al-Mayadeen television on Thursday evening.

“Territorial gains forced the United States to recognize Ansarullah as a legitimate party in Yemen,” he emphasized.

Earlier in the day, Lenderking told a webinar sponsored by the National Council on US-Arab Relations that he hoped for a ceasefire between the Saudi-led coalition and the Ansarullah movement to alleviate the Yemen crisis.

“My experience from the Houthis (Ansarullah) is that they have spoken about a commitment towards peace in Yemen.... We continue to engage with them,” he said.

“The United States recognizes them as a legitimate actor, we recognize them as a group that has made significant gains. No one can wish for them (to be) away or out of the conflict, so let’s deal with realities that exist on the ground,” Lenderking pointed out.

‘Ansarullah legitimacy stems from resistance’

Separately, a high-ranking member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council stressed that the Ansarullah movement’s legitimacy emanates from its might and resistance in the face of the Saudi war and brutal all-out siege.

Mohammad Ali al-Houthi noted that the United States must stop keeping the Yemeni nation hungry, and end enforcing aggression and blockade against them.

He said Ansarullah, thanks to its might and resistance, emerged triumphant and could restore Yemen’s legitimacy and independence.

“The international community must deal with Yemen in a fair manner, and refrain from imposing anything on the country and keeping its people hungry,” Houthi highlighted.

He underscored that the Saudi aggression and siege against Yemen, in addition to interference in the Arab country’s political, social and economic affairs must stop.

Yemeni drones attack Saudi king Khalid airbase again

Yemeni armed forces and fighters from allied Popular Committees on Friday launched a fresh drone strike on a major airbase in Saudi Arabia’s southern region of Asir in retaliation for the devastating military campaign and blockade.

Spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree announced in a post published on his Twitter page that a domestically-manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat drone hit designated targets inside King Khalid airbase near the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait early Friday.

The attack, he said, was a legitimate and natural response to Riyadh's ongoing military aggression and brutal siege against Yemen.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah. 

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

The Saudi war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. The war has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.


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