Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh did not return to Saudi Arabia via Aden in the south and did not go to the capital Sana’a in a helicopter as has been reported, according to a Yemeni security source.
“The Yemeni president landed at Sana’a airport early Friday morning and secretly visited the two neighborhoods that have been the scene of recent clashes between protestors and the regime,” the source told Al Arabiya.
“He then went to his old house before going to the presidential palace.”
The source added that that a procession of three presidential cars left the airport on the same day as decoys while the president entered the city in a procession of three ordinary cars.
“The first person Saleh met was Vice-President Abd Rabou Mansour Hadi, with whom he held a long meeting.”
According to the source, 70 percent of Saleh’s guards were not aware that he was heading to Yemen and that is why they stayed in the Saudi capital Riyadh and only knew of his return to Sana’a from the media.
On the other hand, army dissidents who support the Yemeni revolution viewed Saleh’s return as a prelude to civil war and predicted that chaos will prevail in the country.
“The series of bombings and clashes that took place Friday and Saturday attest to the fact that he is back with the intention of destroying our country and dividing our people,” they said in a statement of which Al Arabiya obtained a copy.
The statement added that despite all efforts by the president to wreak havoc in the country, protestors will insist on keeping their revolution peaceful.
“Despite the fact that more than 32 were killed and 800 injured, we will never resort to violence.”
(This story was translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid.)