Cheers for ex-president Saleh, jeers for the Houthis who tore Yemen apart
The break-up of the Saleh-Houthi alliance offers hope of resolving the civil war
Few people in Sanaa will shed a tear if the Houthis are swept out of Yemen. They have inflicted more than a year of terrible hardship and humiliation on the northern part of the country.
On Saturday the street and the markets echoed to the sound of cheers for the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and jeers for the Houthis.
The two were, until recently, allies.
In political terms, what is happening in Sanaa signifies a sudden collapse for the rebels, said Mohammed Al Nakeeb, a political analyst working in the moral guidance department in the Yemeni army.
"The Houthi militias are shrinking so fast because they lost the support and the protection of the cordon of tribes north of Sanaa on which they relied. What is happening in Sanaa is a big change in the political equation and the beginning of a solution to the crisis in Yemen, especially in the north of the country.
"The coalition of the coup has gone and one of the two sides is going to disappear. According to results on the ground, the former president has superiority so far. Meanwhile the rebels are diminishing very fast, which means that Saleh will take control on Sanaa and the northern provinces and Iran and its proxies in the extreme north are going to be kicked out," Mr Al Nakeeb said.
Political analyst Abdulkhalk Al Hood, editor-in-chief of the Al Mashhad Al Arabi news website, said the potential defeat of the Houthis in Sanaa was less crucial to the people in the southern part of Yemen.
"The southern territory was liberated from the Houthis three years ago and has been protected by the Resistance backed by the UAE," he said. " Nevertheless, the people in the south look at what is happening in Sanaa as a victory because the Houthi militia was an arm of Iran — which is he enemy of all Yemenis, north and south, because Iran wants to revive sectarian doctrine.
"Southern Yemen is in partnership with the Arab coalition represented by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, because they came to liberate our country from Iran. So the people of Southern Yemen will stand by the forces of the former president as they take over the militias because they are also getting rid of Iran."
Updated: December 3, 2017 05:02 PM