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Arab coalition chief safe after London attack


London: Major General Ahmad Asiri who heads the Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting to restore Yemen’s legitimate government is safe after he was exposed to an assault by a group of protesters in London.

The Saudi embassy to the UK said the group of protesters had tried to disrupt his participation in the European Council seminar on foreign relations where he was to discuss the situation in Yemen.

The embassy thanked the British police for its cooperation in facilitating the safe exit of both Asiri and the Saudi ambassador from the building.

Asiri was able to continue his scheduled speaking engagements without any disruption.

The general heads a coalition of mostly Gulf and some Arab countries who entered Yemen’s war two years ago after an Iran-backed Al Houthi coup kicked Yemen’s president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sana’a.

Hadi came to power in early 2012 after massive Arab Spring protests ousted Saleh.

He was forced to decamp to the city of Aden after escaping Al Houthi-imposed house arrest after the rebels took over the government in a coup in 2014.

Since then, Hadi shifted government headquarters to Aden from where he has led an offensive to liberate Al Houthi-occupied territories.

With help from the Saudi-led Arab coalition, it has achieved widespread gains in many provinces, but Houthis still control the capital Sana’a and most northern provinces including Hodeida, Ibb, Mahweet, Yareem, Amran, Baydha and Hajja.