Image grab taken from a video broadcasted by Al-Masira TV on March 26, 2015, shows Yemeni Shiite Huthi movement's leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi delivering a televised statement from an undisclosed location in Yemen
Image grab taken from a video broadcasted by Al-Masira TV on March 26, 2015, shows Yemeni Shiite Huthi movement's leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi delivering a televised statement from an undisclosed location in Yemen © - Al-MASIRA TV/AFP/File
Image grab taken from a video broadcasted by Al-Masira TV on March 26, 2015, shows Yemeni Shiite Huthi movement's leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi delivering a televised statement from an undisclosed location in Yemen
AFP
Last updated: April 20, 2015

Yemen rebel chief says 'will not give in... to aggression'

Yemen rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi vowed Sunday he will "never give in" to a Saudi-led air war on his Shiite militants, branding the raids "savage aggression".

Huthi also rejected as "unfair" a UN Security Council resolution Tuesday that imposed an arms embargo on his group and demanded that the rebels pull back from territory they have seized.

"Our Yemeni people will never give in -- it will resist in the face of the savage aggression," Huthi said in an television address on the 25th day of the air strikes targeting his group.

Huthi vowed to put up tough resistance using "all means and options" available, without elaborating.

"Those who believe that our people will give in because of their savage crimes are wrong," said Huthi, urging his supporters to close ranks and be patient.

Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia accuses Shiite majority Iran of backing the rebels, who have also allied with army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who was forced out after Yemen's 2011 revolution.

Despite being a key ally of the Huthis, Iran denies it is arming the rebels and has petitioned the United Nations with a four-point peace plan to end the violence.

The Huthis swept into the capital in September from their northern stronghold in the city of Saada, and later advanced south on the major port of Aden, forcing President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh.

In his speech, Huthi said Saudi Arabia "has no right to interfere" in Yemeni affairs, and insisted that Iran has "no influence" in the Arabian Peninsula country.

"The political problem is an internal affair and it is up to us to define our future," he said.

He also accused the United States of "wanting this aggression", and said its key regional ally Israel "backs it".

Huthi also said that "hundreds of children, and a number of women" been killed in Saudi-led air raids.

The United Nations has said civilians are among more than 270 people killed and nearly 3,000 wounded in Yemen between March 19 and April 12.

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