Houthi minister of information defects, says Yemeni rebels ‘drawing last breath’
Following his defection from the rebel Houthi administration, Abdul-Salam Ali Gaber held a press conference Sunday at the Yemeni Embassy in Riyadh after his arrival in the Saudi capital. "The Houthis are drawing their last breath,” the ex-information minister said.
He also warned that what is happening in Yemen right now is more dangerous than “a coup".
"Our arrival in Riyadh opens wider doors to work to restore legitimacy inYemen, the homeland that suffered a catastrophe that exceeded the ability of Yemenis to bear the excesses of the de facto authority in Sana'a," Gaber said. He added: "We thank the leadership of the legitimate government for what they have done to secure our itinerary from Sanaa to Aden and from Aden to Riyadh."
Gaber explained that "since the 21st of September 2014, Yemen is being subjected to a state of brutal repression and ruthless control, and the people have been forcefully subjected to that hegemony. What is happening in Yemen is more dangerous than a coup."
Gaber further stressed the fact that "without the intervention of the coalition, the people of Yemen would have been turned into a submissive society, loyal to those who do not deserve loyalty.” He also pointed out that "the least that can be said about power practice in the areas under Houthi control is that it is a militia dictatorship."
He also expressed his hope to see Yemen return to the Arab world thanks to the assistance provided by the coalition countries, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He likened the situation in the Houthi-controlled areas to a thick darkness enveloping these areas.
The dissident information minister spoke of the massive abuses being carried out in the areas controlled by the Houthis, especially against those who opposed the Houthi coup, and noted that there were thousands of journalists “whom we were unable to help.”
Gaber stressed that "the perpetrators of the coup have turned the state institutions to militia-controlled islands,” and added that torture-induced moans are “filling prisons.” Houthi militias have no qualms about “forcing children into war, all in the name of religion but religion is innocent of their practices.” The ex-minister also added that "the Houthis have great media capabilities."
Gaber is the most senior member to defect from the Iran-supported Houthi administration. His defection from the Houthis government comes after the defection in October of Abdallah Al-Hamidi, Vice Minister of Education in the Houthi government.