Houthis begin assassination campaign against Saleh loyalists

Author: Ali Choukeir | AFPFri, 2017-04-21 03:00ID: 1492729515484619900JEDDAH: The assassination on Wednesday of Brig. Gen. Wadah Al-Shahtari, nephew of the ousted president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was in response to threats made by the Houthi militia leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi. The aim was to eliminate what the militia chief called a fifth column under the umbrella of Saleh and the General People’s Congress (GPC).There was tension between the two groups after they both carried out assassinations of followers of the other party in provinces controlled by the Houthi militia.The Houthi militia mobilized its supporters on the airport road east of Sanaa last Sunday in a demonstration to demand the application of the so-called emergency law in areas under its control. The rebels also wanted to justify the practice of excessive repression against Yemenis, especially the silent group within the GPC.Observers pointed out that the desire of the Houthi militia to apply emergency law is to distract Yemenis’ attention away from the defeats and retreats on all fronts because of the damage inflicted by the Arab coalition supporting the legitimate government.Observers say that the mobilization imposed by the Houthi militias in mosques last Friday came in anticipation of any possibility of directing the leadership of the GPC in the provinces under the control of the militias.They argued that the use of the term, “fifth column” in mosques and in the media is an indirect threat to the followers of the GPC who refused to comply with the Houthis’ directives.A leader of Saleh’s party recently said the Houthis had made a blacklist of the names of 2,000 journalists and activists of the GPC in order to target them with assassination, imprisonment or forced disappearance on charges of being agents of the fifth column.A media figure from the GPC said, “Many of the followers of the ousted President Saleh began to regret their dubious alliance with the Houthis, the enemy of yesterday, and they can no longer do anything but cry and be subject to the de facto status.”Media sources indicated that Saleh is under pressure from his party leaders to take a stand against the abuses of the Houthi militia even as he preferred to grant large concessions to the Houthis because of fears for his life.These sources predicted that “the coming days will witness great conflicts and an unprecedented wave of assassinations carried out by the General People’s Congress and the supporters of the Houthis.”
Main category: Middle-East

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