Leaders of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh say they have agreed to ease tensions following their recent clashes in the capital city of Sana’a.
On Monday, delegations headed by Aref al-Zouka, chairman of Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) and the Houthi Ansarullah group’s official spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam held a meeting in Sana’a in an attempt to resolve their differences.
The two sides decided to “remove all causes of the tensions that occurred in the capital Sana’a and to return the security situation to what it was before the activities last week,” the two groups said in a Tuesday statement.
The statement noted that both sides agreed to close ranks and to “unify efforts to confront the [Saudi-led] aggression.”
Tensions mounted between the two allied forces following a Saturday armed conflict in Sana’a which led to the death of two Houthi fighters as well as a senior official from Saleh’s GPC party.
The agreement comes against the backdrop of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to create rift between the two political factions which have been allied against the continued Saudi-led war on the country.
On August 17, the Foreign Policy magazine said it had obtained a new confidential draft report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, saying that Saudi airstrikes had killed 502 Yemeni children and injured 838 others since 2015.
The same report by the UN also revealed that the Saudi war, despite Riyadh’s overwhelming military superiority, had failed since it was “no closer” to achieving its declared objective.
Since March 2015, Yemen has been under heavy airstrikes by Saudi warplanes as part of a brutal war against the Arabian Peninsula country in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi movement and reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
More than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of the campaign, and much of the country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been ravaged. The Saudi war has also triggered a deadly cholera epidemic across Yemen, dragging the impoverished nation to the brink of a widespread famine.
The United States and Britain have been providing the bulk of the military ordnance used by Saudi Arabia in the war. London has licensed 3.3 billion pounds’ worth of weapons since the beginning of the war.
Washington also sealed a multibillion dollars arms deal with Riyadh when US President Donald Trump made his maiden visit abroad in May. The deal, which is worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately, was hailed by the White House as a significant expansion of the security relationship between the two countries.