Yemen's ex-president's house blown by Houthis

07 December, 2017, 02:44 | Author: Kim Reid
  • A boy stands behind armed Houthi followers attending a rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa

They closed the ports last month after the Houthis fired a ballistic missile toward an airport in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, thereby blocking shipments of food and medicine and triggering broad worldwide outrage.

The rebels dispersed the protest but video footage of the women fleeing the scene was posted on social media.

A military source said the Huthis had stopped their four-car convoy about 40 kilometres south of Sanaa and shot dead Saleh and two other officials. The former president was seen to have switched sides after saying on Saturday that he was open to talks with the Saudi-led coalition.

There were reports of further clashes and coalition strikes against Huthi-controlled government buildings and around Sanaa airport on Monday evening.

Faiqa al-Sayyid, a leader in Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party, said Saleh "was martyred in the defence of the republic".

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The government, which has operated out of southern city Aden since being ousted from the capital, ordered an offensive to advance on Sanaa.

Hadi has ordered Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar to "activate military units and advance towards the capital", a presidency official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP. When the Saleh-Houthi alliance began to unravel, Hadi offered the opportunity of a fresh start in relations with Saleh, days before his death.

The killing of Yemen's ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the country's Shiite rebels as their alliance crumbled has thrown the almost three-year civil war into unpredictable new chaos.

Saleh and the Houthis used to be allies in the struggle against the government headed by President Abd-Rabbu Hadi.

Saleh's former Houthi Shiite allies claim he was killed for "treason" for reportedly seeking to switch alliance to the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Houthis for almost three years.

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That dealt a serious blow to his already fragile alliance with rebel chief Abdul Malik al-Huthi.

"We have notified the leader of the traitor and criminal militias to retract, be wise, to stop his militias from continuing committing crimes", he said, "Today is the day of the fall of the conspiracy of betrayal and treason".

The analyst also warned that if Arabs do not unite, it will not be unusual to soon witness the effects of Iranian intervention, such as the emerging of sectarian conflicts, ethnic wars, and total destruction in other Arab countries.

The conflict has pushed Yemen to the brink of mass starvation and triggered what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Witnesses said the bodies of slain civilians and fighters littered the streets as ambulances were unable to reach them.

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

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