Saleh Says Exiled Hadi No Longer Relevant

Saleh Says Exiled Hadi No Longer RelevantSaleh Says Exiled Hadi No Longer Relevant

Former president of Yemen said on Friday the country’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi no longer had a place in Yemeni politics.

In an interview with Arab television station al-Mayadeen, Ali Abdullah Saleh said Hadi’s political relevance ended when Houthi forces took over the capital, Sanaa, and Hadi fled.

“His legitimacy ended completely when he fled Sanaa and Aden and now he will flee Riyadh,” he said, Reuters reported.

Saleh also said parties who attended talks in Riyadh were treasonous, because they had accepted the Saudi attacks. “Those who attended the Riyadh conference have condemned themselves… to never return to Yemen as they have blessed the aggression.”

Riyadh hosted talks between Yemeni factions earlier this month that the Houthis boycotted.

Hadi escaped Sanaa in March, after Houthis took control of the capital in September. A Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes across Yemen late in March in an effort to restore Hadi to power. Forces loyal to Saleh have been fighting alongside the Houthis.

Oman, which borders Yemen, is the only Persian Gulf Arab state among the six that has not so far joined the Saudi campaign.

In related news, a massive explosion rocked a missile silo in the northwestern district of the Yemeni capital near the Sanaa International Airport, a security source said on Saturday.

It was not immediately clear whether the blast at the Dailami Airbase, which shares structures with the airport, had left any casualties, but the source said people living in neighboring homes began leaving en masse.