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Negotiator: Yemen war would have ended in first year without US support

In this file picture, Yemenis inspect destroyed buildings following Saudi airstrikes against residential areas of the Hashish region of the capital Sana’a. (Photo by Anadolu Agency)

A senior Yemeni official says the Saudi-led war on his country would have ended in its first year if there had not been political and military support from the United States for the aggressors.

The remarks by Abdul Malik al-Ajri, a member of the negotiating team at the Yemeni National Salvation Government, on Tuesday came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that Yemen's retaliatory attacks were prolonging the war.

“The legitimate right to respond to [the Saudi-led] aggression does not translate into prolonging the war. It is American weapons that are making the Yemen war longer,” Ajri tweeted.

“Without US support, the Yemeni war would have ended in its first year.”

Blinken reacted furiously after Yemeni forces targeted Saudi Aramco facilities inside the kingdom with drones and missiles on Saturday. 

“We once again urge the Houthis to agree to a comprehensive ceasefire immediately and to stop these cross-border attacks and attacks inside of Yemen, particularly their offensive on Ma'rib, which is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and prolonging the conflict,” Blinken said, addressing the mainstream movement comprising the regular Yemeni army, which is resisting the Saudi aggression.

Ajri turned the tables on Washington, saying that "without political support of the United States, aggressor countries would not have been able to resist the pressures of the international community, and their leaders would have stood trials in international courts of law". 

Last month, Yemen's Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam slammed the United States’ interference in Yemen, saying Washington was hindering a political resolution of the conflict.

In a post on his Twitter account at the time, Abdul-Salam said, “The US meddling in Yemen has led to the violation of national sovereignty through military acts of aggression.”

“The US brought Saudi Arabia and the UAE with itself and tried to activate al-Qaeda and Daesh" in Yemen, he said. 

“Economically, they imposed a heavy siege, which caused disaster in all aspects of livelihood. The one who is preventing a political solution is America,” he added.

Saudi warplanes bomb Ta’izz

Early Wednesday morning, Saudi warplanes carried out more than a dozen airstrikes against various areas in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.

Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported that the aircraft pounded the mountainous Jabal Aman area, Ta’izz International Airport as well as At Ta'iziyah district on 15 occasions.

There were, however, no immediate reports about possible casualties or the extent of damage.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched a 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 movement.

The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.

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

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