Yemen civil war leader killed by enemy group

Yemen civil war leader killed by enemy group

Yemen civil war leader killed by enemy group

Houthi went on to blast Saleh for betraying the loyalty of those he had worked with and claimed the ordinary people of the capital could not understand how he had changed sides after three years of denouncing the Saudi-led coalition.

Earlier on Monday, Al Arabia reported violent clashes on the southern outskirts of the Yemeni capital, where the former president's house is located.

According to Al Arabiya, the GPC sources said that "Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed during clashes with the Houthis in the country's capital of Sana'a". His death was confirmed by his political party, the General People's Congress, according to Al-Jazeera.

A video circulating online purported to show Saleh's body, his eyes open but glassy, motionless with a gaping head wound, as he was being carried in a blanket by rebel fighters.

Activists also published pictures and a video showing Saleh's body as gunmen put it behind a wheel amid cheers, in a scene reminiscent of the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011.

The Houthi-run Masirah TV announced the death of the "leader of the traitors", referring to Saleh, who ruled the country for more than three decades, and up until last week was in a fragile alliance with the rebels.

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.

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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 Saudi-led coalition praised Saleh for "taking the lead" in the conflict. Throughout the Yemeni Civil War he had allied with the Houthi rebels, who had been fighting against the Saudi-backed forces of Hadi ousted in 2015.

"In addition, the fault lines of the conflict pre-date Saleh's involvement with the Houthis and numerous foreign powers involved in the Yemeni conflict are driven by their own strategic interests in the region", he added.

The country descended into a wider civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people while drawing in a Saudi-led military coalition, backed by the United States.

Aid organisations were receiving desperate calls for help from families trapped in neighbourhoods engulfed by fighting, he said. Coalition air strikes hammered Houthi positions in an apparent bid to shore up Saleh's forces, witnesses said. The rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran, which has increased significantly in recent months, has exacerbated the conflict in Yemen.

Mr Saleh's death could mark a turning point in the proxy war between the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia and the Shias of Iran that has left thousands of people dead and caused one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

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