Yemen’s President: The Houthis Must Be Stopped

My country, Yemen, is under siege by radical Houthi militia forces whose campaign of horror and destruction is fueled by the political and military support of an Iranian regime obsessed with regional domination. There is no question that the chaos in Yemen has been driven by Iran’s hunger for power and its ambition to control the entire region.

The Houthi attacks are unjust acts of aggression against the Yemeni people and the constitutional legitimacy of my government, as well as an assault on Yemen's sovereignty and security.

The Houthi rebels are puppets of the Iranian government, and the government of Iran does not care for the fate of ordinary Yemenis; it only cares about achieving regional hegemony. On behalf of all Yemenis, I call on the agents of chaos to surrender and to stop serving the ambitions of others.

It is not too late to stop the devastation of my nation. The Houthis belong at the negotiating table, not on the battlefield terrorizing their fellow citizens.

Their ambition should be to establish a secure and stable Yemen. Yemenis must not be stopped from enacting our constitution and implementing the results of the National Dialogue leading to the transition to a parliament in which both the north and south are fairly represented and the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, the mechanism, endorsed by the United Nations, to complete the political transition.

But the Houthis and their patron, Yemen’s discredited ex-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, refused to follow the roadmap for change they had previously agreed to. Mr. Saleh must take responsibility for anarchy in Yemen and call a halt to the needless bloodshed.

Operation Decisive Storm, the campaign by a coalition of nations led by Saudi Arabia, is coming to the aid of Yemen at the request of my government. If the Houthis do not withdraw and disarm their militia and rejoin the political dialogue, we will continue to urge the coalition to continue its military campaign against them.

Two weeks ago, Yemen was on the brink of the abyss. The unprecedented level of Arab and international support brought us back from the edge.

The message they are sending is clear: Iran cannot continue expanding at the expense of the integrity and security of other countries in the region.

Our neighbors are certain of what they see: one house in the neighborhood is on fire, and that fire must first be contained and then extinguished lest the entire neighborhood turn to ashes.

We will need continued international support to ensure military might on the battlefield now. And we will need assistance for our civil institutions once the fighting has stopped, to return my government to leadership in the capital, Sana.

Having a hostile government in a nation bordering the Bab al-Mandeb strait — the highly trafficked shipping lane leading to the Suez Canal — is in no nation’s interest.

If the Houthis are not stopped, they are destined to become the next Hezbollah, deployed by Iran to threaten the people in the region and beyond. The oil shipments through the Red Sea that much of the world depends on will be in jeopardy, and Al Qaeda and other radical groups will be allowed to flourish.

Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi , the president of Yemen, is currently in exile in Saudi Arabia.

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