The Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir, slammed Hizbullah for depicting the Yemen crisis as a sectarian conflict, accusing the party and its longtime ally the Islamic Republic of Iran of being behind the Shiite Huthi rebellion in Sanaa.
“In Lebanon, Hizbullah controls a state, and we do not want such a situation to develop in Yemen through Huthis,” al-Jubeir said during a symposium at the U.S. Congress on “Chaos in Yemen: Analysis, diagnosis and prospects”, which was organized by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in Washington.
He stressed that the “battle in Yemen is between good and evil and not between Sunnis and Shiites.”
“The Kingdom’s goal is to protect the legitimate government in Yemen from a group supported by Iran and Hizbullah,” he remarked, stressing the determination of the Saudi-led coalition to restore stability in Yemen.
He lashed out at Hizbullah, noting that the Huthis wouldn't have been able to advance without the support of Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Iran and Hizbullah.
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah unleashed a tirade against Saudi Arabia after it kicked off an offensive in Yemen, calling it "surprising and painful," and suggesting Riyadh would suffer a "humiliating defeat" if it didn't resolve the conflict through negotiations.
Riyadh has formed the largest-ever coalition of Sunni Arab countries to fight the Huthis, bringing together most of the Gulf monarchies, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Egypt.
Aden, Yemen's main southern city and a last foothold of supporters of absent President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, has been shaken by more than a week of fierce clashes between Shiite rebels and loyalist militia.
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