Yemen

(P)GCC asks for Houthi fighters withdrawal

The member states of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) have asked for the withdrawal of Houthi fighters in Yemen.

The group, which gathers Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman, made the call in a final statement after a summit in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday.

It urged an immediate pullout of the Shia fighters, also known as Ansarullah, from the Yemeni capital Sana’a as well as other towns in the country.

Ansarullah fighters have been locked in deadly battles with al-Qaeda militants, who have frequently carried out attacks on Yemen’s security forces.

Yemen’s central government has so far failed to confront the terrorist threat. Ansarullah fighters, however, have intervened to fill the vacuum and driven al-Qaeda militants out of many areas in the country.

Yemen’s Defense Minister Mahmoud al-Subaihi has said that the fighters might be allowed to join the Yemeni army.

The Ansarullah movement played a major role in the popular uprising that forced the country’s former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012 after more than 33 years in power.

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