Yemen war: Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh 'killed'

07 December, 2017, 02:41 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • YEMEN-SANAA-CLASH-AFTERMATH

Fighting has intensified since former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an erstwhile Houthi ally who had turned on the group, was killed in an attack on his convoy last week.

Both Saleh forces and the Houthi rebels are battling to capture the capital city. "We call on the Houthi rebels to immediately release the TV channel's journalists".

Iran, which supports the Houthis but denies arming them, welcomed Saleh's killing, saying it had put an end to a Saudi conspiracy.

A video provided to AFP by the rebels showed what appeared to be a dead Saleh with a severe head injury, his body wrapped in a floral-print blanket. The coalition has been striking Houthi positions, hoping that Saleh's loyalists might allow forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to return to the capital.

Global anti-poverty organization Oxfam praised Trump's action but called on him to do more to stop the bloodshed, including pushing for a ceasefire and ending arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition.

Saleh, who ruled in Sana'a from 1978-2012, had a strong following in Yemen, including army officers and armed tribal leaders who once served under him.

Saleh's vehicle was struck by an RPG fire on Monday and he was later shot to death, raising questions about what happens next in the almost three-year war that has killed at least 10 000 people.

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

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Strongman Saleh had on Saturday bypassed his Houthi allies of three years, telling the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen he was ready to negotiate if the crippling siege could be lifted.

On Monday, Leader of Yemen's Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, said the movement has managed to thwart a major threat to the country's security by defeating the plot hatched by former president, Saleh, and his militia. The coalition threw its support behind Saleh when he turned on the rebels, and may now back his son.

Saleh's son, Ahmed, has reportedly been under house arrest in the United Arab Emirates, a key member of the coalition.

The bloody conflict has left impoverished Yemen as the world's leading humanitarian disasters with millions of people facing starvation.

Saleh's slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the dayslong fighting for the country's capital, Sanaa. The ensuing conflict has claimed more than 8,750 lives.

At least 234 people have been killed and more than 400 wounded in fighting in Sanaa since the beginning of the month, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday.

"They obviously care about USA support", Corker said.

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