Qatar Fails to Save Yemen's Houthis

05 December, 2017, 01:49 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Alleged body of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh

But even without Saleh's loyalists, the rebels remain a powerful force and it is unclear how much the break with Saleh weakens them.

According to the TV channel, the former president of Yemen managed to leave Sana'a with the air support of the Saudi-led coalition.

Saleh on December 2 announced the end of his alliance with the Iran-backed Huthi rebels, with whom he has jointly ruled the capital, Sanaa, for three years.

The former president's gamble in quitting his alliance with the Huthis proved to be a fatal step.

The video, apparently shot by one of the attackers, showed a Houthi crowd picking up Saleh's dead body, wrapped in a colorful blanket, off the ground and lifting it onto a pickup truck.

The fighting in the capital of Sanaa caused residents to cower in their homes as explosions rocked the city overnight.

Two of Saleh's associates have also confirmed, along with a third official from the government of Yemen's internationally recognised president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Alleged body of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Arabic Alleged body of Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh

In a televised address, Saleh called for new relations with the Saudi-led coalition, which he and the Houthis have been battling for nearly three years (since March 2015).

Former president Saleh and the Yemeni military fought the Houthi rebels five times from 2005 to 2014, before becoming allies after the Saudi-led coalition took military action in March 2015 to restore President Hadi to power, who had been ousted and imprisoned by the Houthis.

The Houthis' political office on Saturday accused Saleh of staging a "coup" against "an alliance he never believed in".

Saudi Arabia, accusing arch-rival Iran of backing the rebels, intervened in the Yemen war on behalf of the government the following year.

In response, Houthi chief Abdul-Malek al-Houthi made a surprise speech this morning, calling on Saleh and tribal leaders to intervene to stop the internal bloodshed and reunite the internal ranks to face the "aggression", in reference to the Saudi-led military coalition.

"Ambulances and medical teams can't access injured, people can't buy food and other supplies", UNICEF's Rajat Madhok said on Twitter.

Saleh, 75, ruled Yemen for more than three decades until his ouster under popular pressure in 2012.




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