Three top Yemeni army commanders have declared their support for anti-government protesters seeking the resignation of the country''s president, Ali Abudullah Saleh. Brigadier Ali Mohsen Saleh, the head of the north western military zone and the head of the first armoured division, said on Monday that he had deployed army units to protect the protesters.Two more commanders rallied behind Brigadier Saleh soon after.Addressing a news conference, Brigadier Saleh said: "Yemen today, is suffering from a comprehensive and dangerous crisis and it is widespread."Lack of dialogue and oppression of peaceful protesters in the pubclic sphere, resulted in crisis which has increased each day."And it is because of what I feel about the emotions of officers and leaders in the armed forces, who are an integral part of the people, and protectors of the people, I declare, on their behalf, our peaceful support of the youth revolution and their demands and that we will fulfil our duties."
The announcement came days after scores died when armed men fired at an anti-government protest in the capital Sanaa.
Several ministers resigned from the government after Friday'sviolence. Abdullah Alsaidi, Yemen's ambassador to the United Nations, also quit in protest over the killings.
Hakim Al Masmari, editor-in-chief of Yemen Post, told Al Jazeera that Monday's army defections spell the end for President Saleh. "It is officially over, now that 60 per cent of the army is allied with the protesters."For Ali Mohsin Saleh to annnouce this, it is a clear sign to President Saleh that the game is over and that he must step down now."It means the fall of the Yemeni army, by nightfall, we expect 90 per cent of the army to join Mohsin Saleh.