Yemen’s former president Saleh shot dead by Houthi rebels 2 days after he turned ‘new page’

by WorldTribune Staff, December 4, 2017

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by Houthi rebels on Dec. 4, just days after his faction’s alliance with the Iran-backed rebels collapsed.

Ali Abdullah Saleh

Sources in the Houthi militia said its fighters stopped Saleh’s armored vehicle with an RPG rocket outside Sanaa and then shot him dead. Sources in Saleh’s party confirmed he died in an attack on his convoy.

Saleh, 75, had said in a speech on Dec. 2 that he was ready for a “new page” in ties with the Saudi-led coalition and called the Houthis a “coup militia.”

Related: Collapse of rebel alliance leads to ‘street war’ in Yemeni capital, December 3, 2017

Houthi fighters had also blown up Saleh’s house in Sanaa on Dec. 4.

The Houthi movement’s TV channel al-Masirah and witnesses said Houthi fighters had seized the home of Saleh’s nephew Tareq, an army general.

Analysts say the next move will be up to Saleh’s political allies and military commanders, whom they credited with aiding the Houthi march southwards in 2014 to dominate swathes of western Yemen.

“His people will be angry, and many will certainly be out for blood, but there are many in the middle especially among the tribes who will fall with whoever appears stronger,” said Adam Baron, a Yemen analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“The (Saudi-led) coalition may have put a lot of their eggs in Saleh’s basket only for it to fall over now. They appeared to strongly support his attempt to confront the Houthis and now that bid may have failed.”

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