Yemeni rebels wary of Saudi attacks

May 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, May 7 (UPI) -- Saudi forces are preparing to launch an offensive on areas along its border in northern Yemen, a Shiite rebel leader said.

Yemeni forces in August 2009 launched a campaign against Houthi rebels in northern Yemen. The conflict threatened to spill into Saudi Arabia before the Yemeni government reached a cease-fire agreement with the Shiite rebel group in 2010.

Abdul Malik al-Houthi, an insurgent leader in northern Yemen, accused Saudi forces of stoking tensions in Yemen as it struggles to recover from last year's uprising.

"What the Saudi kingdom is doing conflicts with religious and humanitarian values as well as the interest of the two countries," he was quoted by the independent Yemen Post as saying.

The northern Shiite rebellion is complicating a security situation in Yemen worsened since long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in February. Violence attributed to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula increased since Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi took over the presidency.

The White House had recently expanded a CIA program to target AQAP leaders in Yemen. U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, an AQAP leader, was killed last year allegedly by a missile fired from a CIA drone. A drone strike during the weekend killed Fahd al-Qusa, indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on 50 counts of terrorism in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole while it was docked in the Yemen port of Aden.

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