Yemen's Saleh: Israel, U.S. Responsible for Riots

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Beleaguered Yemini President Ali Abdullah Saleh blamed Israel - and the U.S. - for the wave of uprisings taking place in his country and across the Middle East. According to Saleh, Israel is plotting to destabilize the region.

"There is an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world," Saleh told professors and students at Sanaa University, as massive protests took place outside.

"We want to know why Barack Obama is meddling in the affairs of the Arab countries," he said. "Is Obama the president of the United States of America or president of the Arab states?" asked the leader who has been a key U.S. ally against al-Qaeda. On Monday, he emphatically rejected demands to resign.

As promised, opposition groups joined the demonstrations on Tuesday,  rejecting Saleh's offer to form a unity coalition. Nor have protesters been satisfied with his promise not to run again for office in 2013.

As in Egypt and Libya, protesters say they will accept nothing less than the president's resignation. "No dialogue. No dialogue. Your leaving is the only option," demonstrators clamoring for his resignation chanted countrywide.

In southern Yemen, protesters opened fire on two soldiers, killing both of them. Elsewhere, four prisoners escaped during a riot that left one inmate dead and wounded four guards. According to reports, 24 people have been killed since Feb. 17.

Like his counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt and the troubled regimes in Bahrain and Libya, Saleh has ruled Yemen for 32 years.

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