From Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s exiled president on Wednesday ordered that militias battling Shiite rebels in Yemen be merged with his national army, in an apparent attempt to unify ground forces. It was not immediately how the order would translate on the ground in Yemen, where fierce, months-long fighting has pitted Shiite rebels
known as Houthis and troops loyal to the country’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Also, since March, a Saudi-led coalition has been waging an air campaign against the Houthis, who control the capital, Sanaa, parts of northern Yemen and who are pushing to expand their power grab to the south of this impoverished Arabian Peninsula country. According to Hadi’s adviser, Maj. Gen. Jafaar Mohammed Saad, authorities are “working on implementing the decision in the fastest time possible” to integrate the militias, known as “Popular Resistance” units — a vague term used for a wide specter of groups opposed to the Houthis.