Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Tuesday accused Israel and the United States of fomenting anti-regime revolts throughout the Arab world and attempting to destabilize his country.
“There is an operations rooms in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world,” Saleh said as he gave a speech at Sanaa University. He explained that the “operations room” is “run by the White House.”
Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered at the university and were joined by opposition groups for the first time.
Yemen’s opposition rejected an offer for a unity government on Monday, saying it would stand with the tens of thousands of protesters demanding an end to Saleh’s 32-year rule.
The move came as violence spiked against security forces in the south. Local officials said gunmen killed two soldiers in successive attacks, and a prison riot killed one inmate and wounded two guards as four prisoners escaped.
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered across the country, from Sanaa to disparate regions where separatists or Shi’ite rebels hold sway, chanting slogans such as “No dialogue, no dialogue. You leaving is the only option.”
Twenty-four people have died in the past two weeks.