(TAIZ, Yemen) -- Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh is still holding onto power and his brutal attempts to crush anti-government protests have left over 120 dead. The Obama administration has not called for President Saleh to go, but some believe the tide may be turning as U.S. criticism peaked this week with one state department official calling the violence appalling.
Another sign may be the Pentagon's proposal Wednesday for $43 million of military aid to foreign countries. None of it is earmarked for Yemen where the presence of al Qaeda is a top U.S. Concern. Officials say they will take a wait and see approach.
Meanwhile, in the southern city of Taiz, tens of thousands are marching against President Saleh with many businesses closed to observe a general strike. In the capital of Sanaa, demonstrators are also remaining defiant a day after a bloody gun battle there left three tribesmen dead.
President Saleh said Wednesday he's ready to go to Saudi Arabia to negotiate with the opposition after some gulf states offered to mediate. It's unclear if the opposition who've had their own proposals rejected by Saleh will agree to outside mediation.
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