LONDON: Pro-Houthi protesters ambushed Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, the military spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition to restore the legitimate UN-backed government in Yemen, as he attempted to speak at an event organized by the European Council on Foreign Relations in London on Thursday.
Al-Assiri was attacked by eggs and then physically challenged by a protester who claimed he is placing him under “citizen’s arrest” for what he described as “war crimes” in Yemen.
Videos that emerged on social media show Al-Assiri being confronted by activists who were shouting and seemed adamant to harass him.
Senior sources in Riyadh have confirmed that Al-Assiri suffered no injuries and that he went on to deliver his talk as planned, despite the minor delay caused by the interruption.
A soundbite that surfaced on social media of Al-Assiri at the talk suggests that he remained calm and began his speech by apologizing for the delay caused by what he described as people “who don’t know the difference between protesting and attacking.”
The war in Yemen has been now going on for two years; Saudi Arabia’s involvement came after President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi made a call of appeal pleading help in facing an illegitimate coup orchestrated by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
Since overthrowing the government, the Houthis, a militant group with an official slogan of “death to America,” have caused much turmoil and suffering in Yemen and have constantly failed to reach a peace agreement with the Hadi government, despite regional and international support and pressure.