Yemen: President Ali Abdullah Saleh Warns ‘Mutinous’ Military Of Long, Bloody Civil War

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Yemen President warns ‘mutinous’ military of long, bloody civil war (Independent):

In his first public comments since a wave of defections by senior military officers, Yemen’s embattled President refused to step down in a defiant television address to the nation yesterday and warned of a protracted and bloody civil war.

More than a dozen of Yemen’s military commanders, including the country’s top general, have abandoned President Ali Abdullah Saleh and pledged their support for youth protesters calling for an end to his 32-year rule. With tanks from both sides on the streets of the capital Sana’a, negotiators last night managed to prevent the first shots being fired between rival forces that could descend into civil war, according to government officials.

Mr Saleh warned that continued “mutiny” by senior commanders, including Major General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, would lead to a long battle against his “legitimate, democratically elected” government.

Yemen opposition refuses president’s offer (Xinhua):

SANAA, March 22 (Xinhua) — Yemeni opposition coalition on Tuesday reaffirmed its refusal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s fresh offer that he will step down after moving power to parliament, insisting on his immediate leave.

Yemen president’s ouster could deal US huge setbacks (Los Angeles Times):

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been a key U.S. ally in a turbulent region. If he steps down, Yemen may become a terrorist haven and a proxy battleground for Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Yemen president fires entire cabinet as protests escalate (Guardian):

Yemen’s president has fired his entire cabinet amid escalating protests demanding his resignation. The announcement by President Ali Abdullah Saleh came after tens of thousands of mournersflooded the streets of the Yemeni capitalon Sunday in a mass funeral for 52 protesters killed on Friday in a sniper attack by government loyalists.

The president’s office issued a statement saying he was firing his cabinet, although Yemen’s official news agency reported he had asked them to remain in place until a new one could be appointed.

Gaddafi’s forces battle rebels – Yemeni president says US and Israel behind unrest – Venezuela President Chavez: US distorting situation in Libya ‘to justify an invasion’ – Destroying Libya

Gaddafi’s forces battle rebels (Aljazeera):

Forces loyal to Muammar Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, are battling rebels in control of cities both close to the capital, Tripoli, and far away from it.

Reports said on Monday that fighter jets bombed an ammunition depot in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, while a resident of Az Zawiyah, 50km west of Tripoli, told the Associated Press news agency by telephone that fighting started on Monday evening and intensified after sundown when troops loyal to Gaddafi attacked the city from the west and east.

“We were able to repulse the attack. We damaged a tank with an RPG. The mercenaries fled after that,” said the resident of Az Zawiyah, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals.

Yemeni president says US and Israel behind unrest (AP):

However, on Tuesday, Saleh seemed to be turning on Washington. In a speech to about 500 students and lecturers at Sanaa University, he claimed the U.S., along with Israel, is behind the protest movement.

“I am going to reveal a secret,” he said. “There is an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world. The operations room is in Tel Aviv and run by the White House.”

Saleh also alleged that opposition figures meet regularly with the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa. “Regrettably those (opposition figures) are sitting day and night with the American ambassador where they hand him reports and he gives them instructions,” Saleh said.

Chavez: U.S. distorting situation in Libya ‘to justify an invasion’ (CNN):

(CNN) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez claims U.S. criticism of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has a clear aim: military invasion.

“Let’s not get carried away by the drums of war, because the United States, I am sure that they are exaggerating and distorting things to justify an invasion,” Chavez said Monday, according to Venezuelan state media.

At a Monday meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States was exploring “all possible options,” and that “nothing is off the table so long as the Libyan government continues to threaten and kill Libyan citizens.”

Destroying Libya (Activist Post):

The Anglo-American “globocrat” establishment is no longer hiding its support for the now admittedly armed rebellion spreading across Libya. The rebellion has been met by a defiant Qaddafi who may have more support than the corporate owned media has revealed and the rebels may need “extra” assistance from their Western sponsors, lest they end up in a “Bay of Pigs-like” scenario.

While Libyan opposition leader Ibrahim Sahad leads the rhetorical charge from Washington D.C., his National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) on the ground is armed to the teeth, as it has been throughout its 20 year history of attempted CIA backed rebellions against Qaddafi. In 1984, the NFSL tried to overthrow Qaddafi in a failed armed coup. The Daily Globe and Mail also recently confirmed that the NFSL along with the Libyan National Army, both under Sahad’s new National Conference of Libyan Opposition (NCLO), had both “attempted coups and assassinations against Col. Gadhafi in the 1980s.”