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Deadly Clashes Erupt Between Houthis and Saleh Forces

Deadly Clashes Erupt Between Houthis and Saleh ForcesDeadly Clashes Erupt Between Houthis and Saleh Forces

Infighting among Yemen fighters turned deadly for the first time since they joined forces in 2015, al-Masdar news website reported, further fraying their alliance against a Saudi-led attempt to wrest control of the country.

Clashes between Houthi fighters and forces loyal to toppled former president Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted late Saturday in the capital, Sana’a, the website reported, without giving details on the casualties. Al-Yemen al-Youm TV, affiliated to Saleh, said the dead included a military colonel loyal to the former president, and according to Houthi-held Saba news agency three people were killed, Bloomberg reported.

Ahmed Saif, a resident of the capital, said Houthi fighters were deployed in the streets on Sunday.

Tensions in the rebel camp recently broke out into the open, with the Houthis accusing Saleh of holding secret talks with the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally and member of the coalition. Saleh denies the charges and on Thursday, thousands of supporters gathered in Sana’a to express support for the still-powerful former leader.

Escalating violence could drive Yemen, already devastated by widespread carnage and in the throes of a humanitarian disaster, to become an even more menacing entity perched south of the world’s biggest oil exporter and a major maritime artery.

Since March 2015, Yemen has been under heavy airstrikes by Saudi-led  warplanes as part of a brutal war against the impoverished country in an attempt to crush the Houthi movement and reinstall the fugitive president, Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals, and markets, killing thousands of civilians and prompting rights groups to accuse the coalition of war crimes. Activists have called upon western countries, including the United States and Britain, to cease their military support for the coalition.

The conflict has killed over 10,000 civilians, displaced 3 million people and pushed the impoverished nation to the brink of famine.

 

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