In a TV interview today, Yemen’s ex-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, appeared to invite Russian military intervention in the country’s conflict. He talked of reactivating old Yemeni agreements with the Soviet Union and offfered “all the facilities” of Yemen’s bases, ports and airports to Russia.
Saleh seemed to be advocating something similar to what happened in Syria, where Russia joined the conflict on the Syrian government side to fight terrorism.
Saleh, who was ousted from the presidency in 2012, is allied to the Houthis who currently control the Yemeni capital and large parts of the country, especially in the north. For more than a year Saudi-led forces, who back Saleh’s exiled successor, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, have been bombing Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. Meanwhile the Houthis, who have some Iranian backing, have attacked Saudi territory in the border area.
In the Russian TV interview, Saleh described Russia as “the closest kin to us”, adding that it has “a positive attitude” in the UN Security Council.
Full video of the interview can be watched below