Yemen rebel chief says 'will not give in... to aggression'

Yemen rebel chief says 'will not give in... to aggression'
Supporters of the Shiite Huthi movement hold a portrait of Huthi leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi during a demonstration in Sanaa.

SANAA - Yemen rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi vowed Sunday he will "never give in" to a Saudi-led air war on his Shiite militants, branding the campaign "savage aggression".

"Our Yemeni people will never give in - it will resist in the face of the savage aggression," Huthi said in an television address on the 25th day of the air strikes targeting his rebel group.

Huthi vowed to put up tough resistance using "all means and options" available, without elaborating.

"Those who believe that our people will give in because of their savage crimes are wrong," said Huthi, urging his supporters to close ranks and be patient.

Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia accuses Shiite majority Iran of backing the rebels, who have also allied with army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who was forced out after Yemen's 2011 revolution.

Despite being a key ally of the Huthis, Iran denies it is arming the rebels and has petitioned the United Nations with a four-point peace plan to end the violence.

The Huthis swept into the capital in September from their northern stronghold in the city of Saada and later advanced south on the major port of Aden, forcing President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to Riyadh.

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