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BEIRUT, April 19. /TASS/. The leader of the Yemeni movement Ansar Allah (the Houthi), Sayyid Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, on Sunday called on people living in Yemen’s southern provinces to pool efforts to rebuff Al Qaeda terrorists.
"We are not aggressors and we are ready for cooperation with people living in southern provinces to defeat Al Qaeda and rebuff foreign aggression," the leader of Shia rebels who have seized power in Yemen’s northern provinces, said in a televised address from Sana’a.
He said Saudi air strikes had helped terrorists to strengthen their positions in the southeastern province of Hadhramaut, from where they were threatening the rest of the country.
Al-Houthi said the "goal of the aggression" was to transfer power in Yemen to Al Qaeda, so all Yemeni people must "unite to stand up to this plot."
Al-Houthi’s words came on the backdrop of a statement of the General People’s Congress party in support of United Nations Security Council resolution 2216 calling for ceasefire and resuming U.N.-brokered dialogue. The resolutions urged the Houthi rebels to withdraw their units from Sana’a and other provinces, and to surrender arms seized from the governmental troops. The General People’s Congress leader is Ali Abdulla Saleh, who has until recently been seen as a Houthi ally.
Since August 2014, Yemen has been suffering from a severe political and security crisis. In late January 2015, the armed groups of Ansar Allah (Houthi rebels) seized the country’s capital city of Sana’a and forced President Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi and the government to announce resignation. The president tried to hide in the port city of Aden but after the Houthi seized this city on March 25 he had to flee the country.
After Abd Rabuh Mansur Hadi called for help from the Gulf countries, Saudi Arabia’s air force supported by aviation of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates launched an operation Decisive Storm against the Houthis on March 26. Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Sudan joined the Saudi-led coalition. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 643 people were killed and 2,226 were wounded in bombings in a period from March 26 to April 6.