Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has rejected an initiative put forth by US
Secretary of State John Kerry
to resolve the crisis in the war-torn country.
Mohammed Abdulsalam, the Ansarullah spokesman, said Saturday that the offer aims at depriving the Houthis of their arms in their fight of resistance against the Saudi invasion.
“Whoever has a greedy eye on our weapons, we will have a greedy eye on his life,” Abdulsalam wrote in a message posted on Facebook.
Kerry earlier called on Houthis to hand over their weapons including ballistic missiles and to pull back from the capital Sana’a. In return, the US secretary of state said Houthis and allies can have a share in Yemen’s future unity government.
The proposal comes amid reports that Houthis have stepped up missile attacks on border regions in Saudi Arabia over the past weeks. The attacks are carried out in reaction to deadly Saudi airstrikes that the regime in Riyadh says are meant to undermine Houthis and allies and to restore power to Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s president who has resigned and fled the capital.
About 10,000 people have been killed across Yemen since the Saudi campaign started in March 2015.
The conflict in Yemen re-escalated after peace talks mediated by the United Nations and held in Kuwait collapsed earlier this month. The talks hit a snag after Houthis rejected a similar initiative proposed by the UN, saying it lacked any clear mechanism for transition of power.
Houthis had declared since the start of the talks in April that they were ready for disarmament and withdrawal from key areas they control in case a broad political agreement is reached in which Hadi would have no role.