Dubai: A number of Yemeni officials and analysts scorned at recent statements by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his threats to Saudi Arabia and its Arab military alliance to restore the rule of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Yemeni politicians said Saleh was “hallucinating” and that his speech was more of a “farewell speech” than a real threat, pointing out his weakening position with the advancement of the Saudi-led Arab alliance towards the Yemeni capital Sana’a.
“Saleh’s hallucination in front of supporters who betrayed God, their country and the revolution, is evidence that he has lost his mind and is in a pathetic situation,” said Yassin Mekkawi, adviser to the Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
“The repeated defeats to his armed militias around Sana’a is the main reason behind this satanic man’s diversion from the path of logic,” added Mekkawi in statements published in the Saudi newspaper of Okaz on Tuesday.
Saleh on Sunday threatened Saudi Arabia and said that his militia will be in the frontliness in any future war with the kingdom.
Speaking in a meeting with senior members of his General People’s Congress party, Saleh warned that war with Saudi Arabia “has not begun yet”.
“The war has not started with Saudi Arabia, and our party has not entered the battle yet,” he said.
Saleh also rejected any future talks with Hadi’s government, saying dialogue should instead take place with Saudi Arabia.
“We will not take part in [future] dialogue ... unless the war ends,” Saleh was quoted as saying.
Saleh’s statements included many contradictions, said Mohammad Al Ameri, another adviser to Hadi and member of the Yemeni government delegation to the peace talks held in Geneva last week.
Al Ameri harshly attacked Saleh, describing him as an “idiot”, and pointed out that in the speech Saleh had for the first time publicly acknowledged his alliance with the Iran-allied Al Houthi militia.
Meanwhile, Yemeni political analysts also believed that Saleh’s statements reflect his “weak” position.
“I believe it is an attempt to boost the morale of his supporters especially that the fighting is approaching to Sana’a,” said Mahmoud Al Azzani, a UK-based Yemeni academic and analyst.
Also, Saleh wanted to hint that he has some cards in his hands, “I don’t know exactly what these cards are, but he tried to hint that he has them for the last minute.”
The former Yemeni president’s statement also showed that his concerns that Al Houthis militias have started to marginalise their supporters and he wanted to say that he (Saleh) is still a decision maker,” added Azzani to Gulf News.
Saleh has ruled Yemen for three decades during which he maintained good ties with Saudi Arabia until he resigned in 2012 following a popular revolution against his rule.