Yemen’s “newly appointed Vice President” Khalid Bahah, who was appointed to the position by exiled former President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, seems to be taking the lead in public relations for the Saudi-backed former regime.
In comments today, Bahah said he believed an outright Saudi invasion could be avoided, but suggested that this would require the various Yemeni military factions who have backed the Shi’ite Houthis to switch sides and back the Saudis.
Bahah said he believed if this happened, the Yemeni military could handle the “ground combat” with Saudi airstrikes, and eventually reinstall Hadi in power.
There’ve been a handful of reports of some of the Yemeni forces who were once loyal to previous dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh defecting to the Hadi remnant forces, but these appear to be only small amounts so far.
At any rate, it’s unclear if the Yemeni military can be decisive for anyone in this conflict. Yemeni forces were unable to keep the Houthis out of the capital, and have been routed by tribal factions time and again over the past few years.