In another twist and turn in Yemen political life, the Yemen Post learned that John Brennan, the U.S Counter-Terrorism Unit Chief announced in his latest statement that Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh would be allowed to come home after all.
Since the embattled president left for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following a bomb attack in his presidential compound, rumors circulated that he was being forced to remain in Riyadh, as to avoid further bloodshed in Yemen and ease the country towards a peaceful transition of power.
As it happened, president Saleh maintained his stance despite international pressure, adamant that his presidency was drawing its legitimacy from the Constitution and that only “ballot boxes” would determine Yemen’s political fate, not revolutionaries.
With vice-president Hadi in charge, Saleh made sure that his eldest son, Ahmed Saleh and his nephews who famously run the country’s most strategic governmental posts, kept a firm hand over the country, not giving up an inch to the Opposition.
John Brennan said that Saudi Arabia now felt comfortable enough to allow the 69-year-old autocrat to return to his homeland after a 3 month leave of absence.
The Counter-Terrorism Chief claims that the country’s political crisis has forced the Yemeni government to concentrate its effort on the capital rather than deal with the growing threat of al-Qaeda in its southern region. Yemen southern province of Abyan has fallen under the terror group control just around the time president Saleh left the country, forcing the U.S to resume its “Drones campaign”.
"This political tumult is ... leading them to be focused on their positioning for internal political purposes as opposed to doing all they can against AQAP," Brennan said.
Brennan was quick to add that although he could not oppose Saleh’s return, he wasn’t condoning it either.
"I've told him that I do not believe it's in his interests, Yemen's interests or our interests ... to go back to Yemen," he said.
He closed his statement by stressing out that Yemen could very soon be engulfed in a civil war, comparing the nation to a “tinderbox”.