Huthi Chief Calls for Anti-Jihadist Mobilizationإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The head of Yemen's Shiite Huthi militia on Sunday urged his supporters to mobilize for an anti-Islamist offensive in the south of the strife-torn country.
Abdulmalik al-Huthi, in a speech broadcast by his militia's al-Masirah television channel, also appeared to reject dialogue.
He urged "the great people of Yemen" to mobilize and enroll for military training with his fighters, who in February seized control of state institutions in Sanaa after having swept down from their mountain strongholds north of the capital.
"Al-Qaida and Daesh must not be allowed to find refuge in any region" in Yemen, he said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for bombings of Huthi mosques on Friday that killed more than 140 people.
"All political forces which support al-Qaida will be in the firing line," he added, stressing at the same time that residents of southern Yemen were not targets.
His speech came as Huthi fighters and their allies seized the airport in Taez, a city just 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of Aden.
Huthi also condemned President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled to the southern port city of Aden, as "a puppet in the hands of forces of evil, led by the United States" in carrying out a plot financed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
He threatened to withdraw from U.N.-brokered dialogue between Yemen's multiple rivals and implicitly rejected a Saudi offer to host talks.
"Dialogue cannot go on for ever. It's a charade," he said.
"Any dialogue cannot be sponsored by a party which harbors hostility towards the Yemeni people," said the Huthi leader, referring to the country's powerful and oil-rich neighbor Saudi Arabia.