'Saudi Arabia is facing mounting opposition in areas it occupies in Yemen, leading US daily the Wall Street Journal has reported.
Many view Saudi presence and its alleged development projects as a pretext for the kingdom to entrench its control in the country by controlling Yemen's highly vulnerable infrastructure, the paper said.
“We are under Saudi occupation. We don’t need the Saudis,” it quoted former deputy governor of al-Mahra Ali bin Salem al-Huraizy, who has helped organize protests against the Saudi presence in the past.
Saudi Arabia has taken control over the province's seaports and airports, using them to deploy hundreds of troops in the region.
“There are illegitimate troops in these areas. Are there forces that belong to the Houthis to be fought by the coalition here? The answer is a big ‘no’,” al-Mahra and Socotra People’s General Council member Abdullah bin Issa al-Aafra said.
A senior Yemeni official close to the country's Saudi-backed former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi explained that even Saudi-allied Yemeni officials had no control over the kingdom's expansion in the region.
“We are allied with the Saudi-led coalition, but we don’t accept any violation of our sovereignty,” he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in fear of Saudi retribution.'
Read more: Saudi Arabia facing mounting opposition in occupied parts of Yemen
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