Addressing his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live from the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on Sunday afternoon, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi called on Abu Dhabi to cease its occupation of Yemen and to implement withdrawal plans.
Houthi stated that the UAE should pull its military forces out of Yemen, otherwise the situation would become perilous for the country.
An unnamed senior Emirati official told reporters on July 8 that the Persian Gulf country was planning troop draw-down in Yemen in what was claimed to be a shift from a military strategy to a "peace" plan instead.
He added, “We do have troop levels that are down for reasons that are strategic in (the Red Sea city of) Hudaydah and reasons that are tactical” in other parts of the country.
“It has very much to do with moving from what I would call a military first strategy to a peace first strategy, and this is I think what we are doing,” the Emirati official said.
In late June, Western diplomatic sources said the UAE was mulling scaling back its military efforts in the war in Yemen to focus on threats posed by the rising US-Iran tensions.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Ansarullah chief urged Saudi authorities to understand what is in their best interests in the Middle East, and avoid stoking tensions there.
Houthi then warned the Riyadh regime that retaliatory attacks by Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Committees would increase in case it presses ahead with its military aggression against Yemen.
“We caution Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United States, against Yemeni mortal blows and their aftermath,” he said, according to Press TV.
The Ansarullah head then stated that colonial powers are seeking to advance divisive plots in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, emphasizing that stirring up insecurity in southern Yemen is aimed at such an objective.
He called on all Yemeni factions to respect Islamic teachings and work together in order to frustrate enemies’ schemes.
Houthi finally condemned Saudi Arabia’s politicization of Hajj pilgrimage and creating obstacles for Yemenis who want to perform the Islamic ritual.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah movement.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.