Yemen civil war leader killed by enemy group

Yemen civil war leader killed by enemy group

Yemen civil war leader killed by enemy group

In this January 3, 2017 file photo, tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts to fight pro-government forces.

But in recent months, the alliance frayed amid Houthi suspicions Saleh was leaning toward the Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi.

The pro-Saleh soldiers were also air-covered by Saudi-led warplanes during the overnight fighting with Houthis who made progress and seized key neighborhoods in Sanaa.

Without mentioning Saleh by name, he said that he knew about the ex-President's communication with the Saudis and his efforts to turn against the Houthis.

The former president of Yemen and a main player in its long-running civil war has been killed after an enemy faction attacked his house, according to reports.

Mr Saleh, 75, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades, was overthrown in 2012 but joined forces with the Houthis three years later.

A Houthi media official said Houthi fighters killed Mr Saleh as he tried to flee to Saudi Arabia through the province of Marib, to the east of the capital. The following day the Houthis began to dramatically reverse the Saleh loyalists' gains, however.

Aid organisations were receiving desperate calls for help from families trapped in neighbourhoods engulfed by fighting, he said.

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Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al Houthi, meanwhile, hailed the death of his former ally, congratulating Yemenis "on this historic, exceptional and great day in which the conspiracy of betrayal and treason failed".

"Saleh's actions in Yemen, in working with his former opponents the Houthis, were complicating numerous efforts at resolving the conflict", Harrison Akins, a researcher with the Howard Baker Center, told Newsweek.

The coalition will either have to continue waging a grinding war, possibly trying big offensives against Houthi-held areas at the risk of high civilian casualties, or offer compromises to bring the powerful Houthis to the negotiating table.

Supporters of the Houthis drove through Sanaa's streets blasting celebratory war songs.

Iranian, Russian and Arab media said Saleh may have been at the permanent headquarter of the General People's Congress in Sana'a where he has been killed.

Saleh's loyalists have lost ground on the sixth day of heavy urban warfare with the Houthis during which the death toll has jumped to at least 125 with 238 wounded, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Ali Abdullah Saleh was sworn in as Yemen's President in 1990 following the merger of North and South Yemen.

Until recently, Saleh and the Houthis had been allies battling to regain control of the country from the internationally backed government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

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