SANAA, March 4 (Xinhua) -- Vice president of internationally recognized Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi called on the Yemeni troops Saturday to join government forces against Houthi rebels.
The vice president, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, made the appeal in a meeting with commanders of government forces in the liberated city of Marib, said a statement carried by the government news agency Saba.
Still, large areas of Marib, the oil-rich province east of rebel-controlled capital Sanaa, are under Houthi rebel control.
The government forces are now stationing in eastern part of Nehm district, about 50 km northeast of the rebel-controlled capital, in military preparation backed by Saudi-led military coalition to storm Sanaa.
"We welcome the coming soldiers who will join the legitimate government and call on others to join our forces against Houthi rebels," the agency quoted al-Ahmar as saying.
Al-Ahmar's move came two days after another military mobilization call made by government foe of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is the main ally with Shiite Houthi rebels.
Saleh urged Thursday the Yemeni army to join Houthi fighters in border fighting against Saudi forces, the main ally of Hadi's government.
In his speech, Saleh also renewed his call to not conduct further peace talks with exiled President Hadi and his government, describing them as "mercenaries."
The move also signaled Yemen's further escalating military tension with neighboring Saudi Arabia, which led a military coalition of mostly Arab countries in support of exiled president Hadi against Houthi rebels.
The defense ministry has been under Houthi control since they seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014.
However, the Yemeni national army has stayed neutral since then and also remained neutral after Houthis ousted internationally recognized President Hadi and forced him along with his government into exile.
Both the government and rebels' moves clearly indicate further military escalation, particularly after repeated rounds of peace talks mediated by the United Nations have failed.