Houthis and Saleh clash in San'a

Violent confrontations between the Houthis and pro-Saleh forces started on Saturday after the two sides exchanged accusations of treachery in televised speeches last week. Abd al-Malik al-Houthi said that former president Saleh had to bear the consequences of calling Ansar Allah a “militia,” and that the Houthis considered the GPC party’s call for a mass demonstration in the capital an internal threat. Meanwhile, pro-Saleh media accused the Houthis of blocking the arrival of supporters to the rally by establishing security barriers and checkpoints in Raymah and Hudaydah provinces.

After a long week of tension, clashes broke out between the two parties on Saturday night at a security point in the capital, San’a. GPC officials said in a statement that a key figure in the pro-Saleh wing of the GPC, Colonel Khalid Al-Razi, was killed in the clashes and stated that he was “stabbed in the back while returning from his work and going home.” The clashes resumed on Sunday morning when Houthi forces reportedly surrounded the residence of former president Saleh in San’a. The Houthis also issued an order preventing Saleh, GPC leaders, and members of the House of Representatives from leaving San'a. Houthi forces also reportedly surrounded the headquarters of the Standing Committee Center of the GPC in the Hadda area of San’a, according to reports.

One day after Saleh declared that he was put under house arrest and asked “Yemeni brothers” to protect him, the Houthis and GPC leaders reached a truce, agreeing to ease the tension between the two groups and begin an investigation of the causes of the current crisis. Less than 24 hours after the signing of the agreement, Houthi gunmen attacked Mohammed al-Masuri, Saleh’s private lawyer, and seized control over the Central Security camp in Raymah Governorate. In response to these events, the commander of the Central Security Forces, Major General Abdul Razzaq al-Marouni, described Houthis’ actions as provocative and threatened to resign from his post.

Yasir al-Yamani, a leader in the GPC party, commented on the breach of the agreement by saying that the recent truce gave the Houthis the opportunity to rearrange their armed militias and sniper sites in San’a to bring the GPC down. He also signaled the willingness of some within the GPC to work with Saudi Arabia, saying that the “brothers in Saudi Arabia are inevitable to restore Yemen's political and historical status."

UPDATED: The final paragraph has been edited to clarify the role of Yasir al-Yamani.