Yemen’s Saleh, Shi’ite Houthis Agree to End Tensions After Deadly Clash

Both Sides Agree to Roll Back Relations

A week of acrimony between Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthi movement and the General People’s Congress loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh led to a lot of angry rhetoric, and a single clash that left three dead. Both sides have announced today that enough is enough and they’re going back to being allies.

A pro-Saleh rally held last week in Sanaa

Officials from both groups met Tuesday and agreed that they are rolling back their relationship to a week prior, when they were close allies, and letting bygones be bygones. This includes the removal of any security restrictions placed by one faction on the other.

This included the Houthis banning GPC political activity within the capital, and a security checkpoint established outside of former President Saleh’s home, which led some to conclude he was under de facto house arrest.

Saleh still hasn’t made a public appearance, but his top GPC figures have assured that the situation is back to normal. Though Saleh was forced to resign in 2012 favor of the US-backed Gen. Hadi, he remains a major political force in the country, and commands the loyalty of much of its pre-war military.

There had been a lot of speculation that a split between these two factions would greatly weaken resistance to the Saudi invasion, though their apparent rapprochement appears to have moved that possibility.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.