“We, in the armed forces, have served to preserve the republican regime with every drop of blood we have,” Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Sunday, AFP reported.
“There is a conspiracy against Yemen’s unity and territorial integrity,” he claimed, referring to 11 straight days of popular protests, which have swept the country.
Dozens of people have been killed since the beginning of the protests. The Amnesty International has put the death toll at 27.
Earlier major Yemeni tribes joined protesters and held a demonstration.
Saleh has already been in office for 33 years with several opposition members arguing that his long-promised reforms have not taken place.
To appease the people, he made more pledge-ridden remarks and promised to leave power at the end of his term in 2013 and not to hand over the reins to his son.
Seven Yemeni lawmakers resigned on Wednesday to protest the government’s use of excessive violence against the demonstrations.