A delegation from the Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement has traveled to Iraq to meet with senior Iraqi officials as part of lobbying efforts to gain international recognition for a political body formed by Ansarullah and allied factions to run Yemen.
According to Yemen’s al-Masirah news website, the official Ansarullah delegation headed by the movement’s spokesman, Mohammed Abdulsalam, arrived in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Sunday evening.
The delegates are scheduled to meet with Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and a number of other Iraqi officials and political leaders.
The delegation plans to visit several other countries in the region as well, according to the report.
Besides gaining recognition for the Yemeni Supreme Political Council, the visits are also aimed at briefing regional governments about the latest atrocities by Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen, the recent negotiations between Yemen’s warring parties in Kuwait, and means of supporting the Yemeni people in the face of an all-out siege imposed by Riyadh on Yemen.
The Yemeni delegation had been in Kuwait City for the negotiations, which were being held with former Yemeni officials who were now under Saudi instruction. Riyadh has prevented the Yemeni delegation at the talks from returning to Yemen three weeks after the fruitless end of the negotiations in Kuwait.
In its latest military strikes against Yemen, Saudi Arabia on Sunday pounded areas across Yemen, leaving scores of people dead and injured.
In retaliation for the Saudi strikes, Yemeni army snipers allied with Ansarullah and Popular Committees — armed groups formed to fight back the Saudi invaders — killed two Saudi soldiers in a military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region of Jizan.
Meanwhile, reports say the Riyadh regime seeks to hire mercenaries from southern Yemen and have them protect Saudi borders in the face of the heavy casualties it has lately been suffering there.
Yemen’s Aden al-Ghad newspaper said at least 270 militants have already left the Yemeni city of Aden toward the Eritrean Island of Assab to be deployed to the southwestern Saudi border province of Najran.
Saudi Arabia reportedly plans to add 5,000 Yemeni mercenaries to its border guard.
Saudi Arabia has been hitting Yemen almost daily since March 2015, with internal sources putting the death toll from the military aggression at about 10,000.
The war was launched in an attempt to reinstate Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, the former president of Yemen and a Saudi ally who has resigned from the presidency but seeks to grab power by force. That objective has so far not been accomplished. Instead, the Saudi war continues to take a heavy toll on civilians in Yemen, an issue that has even raised concern among some of Saudi Arabia’s own allies.
Earlier this month, Riyadh escalated its strikes on Yemen after the peace talks ended without result.
Bomb attack in Aden
In a separate incident, Yemeni sources said a car bomb exploded near a gathering of new recruits belonging to the pro-Hadi forces in Aden on Monday, reportedly killing 45 soldiers and injuring several others.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.