Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, has given a top military post to a veteran pro-Saudi general with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabi groups.
General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who enjoys the strong support of the Saudi regime, was named as deputy supreme commander of the pro-Hadi forces currently fighting against the Yemeni army, backed by Ansarullah forces and allied Popular Committees.
Ahmar, who served as Hadi’s presidential adviser for military affairs, fled the Yemeni capital Sana’s before Ansarullah fighters take control of the city in September 2014.
Subsequently, the Hadi government also resigned in early 2015 despite Ansarullah calls, and fled the capital to Aden and later to Saudi Arabia.
Ansarullah said Hadi lost his legitimacy as president after he escaped Sana’a. They argued that the Hadi government was incapable of properly running the affairs of the country and containing the growing wave of corruption and terror.
Ahmar is the half-brother of former Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in the country’s 2011 revolution. At the time, the powerful military figure defected from Saleh’s military and joined the restructured army under Hadi in 2012.
Political analysts have highlighted the Saudi regime’s role in Ahmar’s appointment, which comes at a time when Yemeni forces are inflicting heavy losses on the pro-Hadi militants near Sana’a and elsewhere in the war-torn country.
Riyadh has also intensified its air raids on the Yemeni capital in recent weeks to weaken Ansarullah fighters and facilitate the advances of its mercenaries in the area.
Reacting to the report, Mohammed al-Maqaleh, a senior member of the Ansarullah movement, said the appointment would not undermine the Yemeni army’s resistance on the battlefield gainst pro-Saudi mercenaries.
The Ansarullah official added that that the forces operating under Ahmar’s command will face defeat on all fronts as they did in Hajjah Province before.
The Riyadh regime has been engaged in a deadly military campaign against Yemen in support of Hadi’s ex-government, a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia, since late March 2015. More than 8,300 people, among them 2,236 children, have been killed and 16,015 others injured since the start of the attacks.
Meanwhile, a new report by the BBC has revealed that Saudi-led forces have joined forces with the al-Qaeda terrorists to drive Ansarullah fighters and allied forces out of the strategic city of Ta’izz.
According to the BBC field reporter, both al-Qaeda terrorists and the Emirati troops fighting on behalf of the Saudi military in Yemen are attacking Ansarullah positions near Ta’izz.
Al-Qaeda terrorists have taken advantage of the chaos created by the ongoing Saudi war and expanded their presence in the Arabian Peninsula state.
Ansarullah has played an effective role in the fight against al-Qaeda, cleansing many areas across the country of the Takfiri militants.
‘Saudi using Canadian arms in Yemen’
In another development, the Saudi Arabian National Guard, which is a customer of Canadian-made light armored vehicles (LAVs), has published photos on Twitter, which show the dispatch of military vehicles near the border with Yemen, the Global and Mail reported.
A significant number of vehicles in the photos have features similar to those in the earlier LAV models built in Canada.
The Canadian Foreign Ministry has not made any comments on the reports on the Twitter photos so far. However, a retired Canadian general, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the LAVs are Canadian-made.
This is while Ottawa has come under fire for its arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite the regime’s dismal human rights record as well as its onslaught against neighboring Yemen.
Critics say Ottawa should reconsider a $15-billion deal to sell Riyadh more weapons.
“Given a UN report accused the Saudis of war crimes because of their bombing of civilians, then clearly our concern must be that since they are involved in war crimes there, it should give the Canadian government additional pause in shipping these kind of weapons to them,” said Ken Epps with the anti-war group Project Ploughshares, which tracks arms sales.
Under Canada’s laws, it is prohibited to export weapons to the countries that have “a persistent record of serious violations of the human rights.”
By Press TV