SANAA: Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has accepted the resignation of his deputy prime minister, Abdulaziz al-Jabari, Yemen’s official SABA news agency reported Thursday.
While accepting the resignation, Hadi — who has remained based in Saudi Arabia since last year — praised the outgoing minister.
“Al-Jabari will remain an active member of the government’s advisory body, playing a role in the defeat of the Iranian-backed [i.e., Houthi] coup… and building a federal Yemen based on justice and equality,” SABA quoted Hadi as saying.
Al-Jabari, for his part, has vowed to continue playing a role in the defense of Yemen’s “legitimate” — i.e., Saudi-backed — government and in the “reconstitution of Yemen’s state institutions”.
He first announced his resignation earlier this week in an interview on state television.
During the interview, al-Jabari also called for “correcting” Yemen’s relationship with a Saudi-led Arab coalition cobbled together three years ago to fight the Houthis. He also denied speculation that Hadi was being kept under “house arrest” by Saudi authorities in Riyadh.
In a related development, the Yemeni army on Thursday said that eight Houthi rebels had been killed in airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s northwestern Hajjah province.
According to army spokesmen, the airstrikes targeted a concentration of Houthi fighters southeast of Hajjah’s Midi Directorate.
“The strikes hit a tunnel in which Houthi fighters were hiding, killing eight of them and injuring a number of others,” read an army statement.
Houthi spokesmen, for their part, have yet to respond to the claims.
Impoverished Yemen has remained in disarray since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels — who Riyadh accuses of being Iranian proxies — overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa. The conflict escalated one year later when a Saudi-led Sunni-Arab coalition unleashed a devastating air campaign on Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains. (AA)