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US favours military solution in Yemen — Hadi

‘Any political solution to the Yemen crisis must guarantee the disarmament of Al Houthi rebels’

Image Credit: AP
Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi
Gulf News

Al Mukalla: Yemen’s president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has said that only a military option would put an end to Al Houthi coup as peace efforts by the UN envoy to Yemen have largely reached a deadlock.

Speaking to London-based Al Quds Al Arabi daily, Hadi noted that his government was in agreement with the Saudi-led coalition and the Americans that military pressure alone would bring the Iran-backed Al Houthi militia back to the table and would force them into disarming.

“We and the Saudi-led coalition are aware that only a military solution would defeat the putschists and would force them into accepting the GCC initiative and outcome of the National Dialogue and the international [community] resolution,” Hadi said.

Hadi attributed the military stalemate on most fronts to pressure on him from big powers which favour of a peaceful settlement.

“Europeans, for example, are with a political solution, while the American administration seeks to strike Iranian interests in Yemen by supporting a military solution, because the Americans believe that the end of the Iranian project in Yemen would mark the beginning of the end of the Iranian imperial ambition,” Hadi said.

The internationally-recognised president Hadi came to power in 2012 months after massive Arab Spring protests ousted his predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In early 2015, north Yemen rebels, backed by Iran and Saleh, placed Hadi under a house arrest, forcing him into decamping to Aden where he sought military intervention from Saudi Arabia.

Despite Hadi’s stress on the importance of military pressure on Al Houthis, his forces have stalled at the rugged mountains of Nehim, just outside Sana’a, despite receiving massive air support and logistics from the Saudi-led coalition.

Commenting on an emerging and growing rift between Al Houthis and Saleh, Hadi said that the feud is real and Al Houthis want to avenge the death of their leader Hussain Al Houthi and Saleh’s six wars against them. When Saleh ruled the country in the previous decades, he waged several wars on Al Houthis which created a bitter relationship between the two parties.

When the two sides teamed up in 2014 to oust Hadi, observers were left scratching their heads at the sudden change of heart.

Many predicted the so-called alliance would eventually break up over divergent interests.

Hadi blamed Saleh for Al Houthi empowerment and said that Al Houthis now had the advantage over Saleh’s forces militarily.

Any political solution to the Yemen crisis would have to result in the disarmament of Al Houthis, he added.

“King Salman, the Crown Prince and military commanders are for any solution that prevents Al Houthis from being a military force ‘state within a state’ like Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Hadi said.