Crackdown keeps residents indoors in Sanaa


ADEN — The Iranian-backed sectarian Houthi militias have arrested dozens of allies of the slain former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and army officers affiliated with his party in and around the city. Several had been killed in the raids.

“There’s a scary calm in the city,” said Ali, a 47-year old businessman who declined to use his full name.

“People are reporting that there are many arrests and they are trying to shoot military men and (Saleh party) members.”

Several dozen women gathered in a main square holding Saleh’s portrait and demanding his burial, eyewitnesses said, but were forcibly dispersed by Houthi supporters.

Houthis distributed a video of dozens of seated barefoot men it said were pro-Saleh fighters detained in one of its party headquarters.

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders appealed for the release of 41 journalists it said have been held “hostage” by the group since it overran the headquarters of the Saleh-owned Al-Yemen Al-Youm TV station on Saturday.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday that the killing of Saleh would, in the short term, likely worsen an already dire humanitarian situation in the country.

Mattis, speaking with reporters on a military aircraft en route to Washington said that his death could either push the conflict towards UN peace negotiations or make it an “even more vicious war.”

The Houthi militias are bombarding civilians using tanks and eliminating leading party figures, aside from pursuing and detaining them and imposing a siege on homes where women and children are living.

The Houthis blew up houses, threatened civilians and closed schools. This was in a repressive, barbaric measure that depicts the bloody Iranian Houthi terrorist ideology.

The Houthi militias have reneged on the deep-rooted Yemeni Arab traditions and instead they adopted a terrorist Iranian sectarian ideology. — Agencies