Brigadier General Yahya Mohamed Abdullah Saleh, an important powerbroker in the country as the Head of the Central Security Forces, said US President Barack Obama was influenced by political players who oppose President Saleh.
“With recent events, some of the aid has lessened. The intelligence aid continues but in terms of training and equipment it has decreased,” Yahya told Reuters in an interview, but he declined to give a specific figure.
The US is believed to spend over $150 million a year in Yemen counter-terrorism aid to forces including Yahya’s Central Security Forces.
A joint Yemeni-American operation last Friday killed US-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, Al Qaeda’s English language propagandist, and that same day the White House called on Saleh to step down.
Yahya denied Western Diplomats’ accusation that Saleh and his family are resisting a Gulf-brokered transition plan.
The General said he was surprised by reports that Western Diplomats may seek a resolution from the UN Security Council to press Yemen to reach a power transition deal, calling it foreign interference on behalf of the opposition.
“The Gulf initiative to transfer power is an internal matter - it’s not an American or a European affair. It (the deal) cannot be forced on us because the other side has a relationship with foreign governments to bring it to power.”
He called the protests a “revolution of children and thieves”.
“We want to leave power democratically, through elections ... the opposition needs to return to its senses, they shouldn’t be over ambitious, or they will end up with nothing.”
Source: Gulf Times; Reuters