Iran-backed Houthis kill their ally ex-president Saleh as Yemen plunges into more uncertainty

FILE PHOTO: Yemen's then President Ali Abdullah Saleh points during an interview with selected media in Sanaa, May 25, 2011. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Yemen’s then President Ali Abdullah Saleh points during an interview with selected media in Sanaa, May 25, 2011. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah/File Photo

Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they killed their ally and former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, after their partnership that has fought a Saudi-led coalition for nearly three years collapsed.

The Houthis announced Saleh’s killing in a statement on Monday, calling it “the end of the crisis of the treasonous militia.” The Houthis said they had “complete control” of Saleh’s “hideouts” in the capital and provinces. The al-Mithaq newspaper affiliated with Saleh earlier denied “rumors” of his death.

Fighting between Saleh’s forces and Houthi rebels backed by Iran escalated over the weekend, with the thud of tank artillery and other heavy weapons piercing the air in the capital, Sana’a. Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam claimed progress, saying fighters had wrested control of homes belonging to Saleh’s son, Ahmed, and nephew Tarik, the commander of the former president’s forces. Saleh has lived underground since his home was bombed by coalition airstrikes.

For the past two years, Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor has been divided into two camps, with the government of the ousted Saudi-backed elected president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, encamped in Aden and the Iran-backed Houthis in control of Sana’a and parts of the north. The Saudi-led coalition that formed in 2015 to try to reinstate Hadi has devastated swaths of the country with airstrikes, and al-Qaeda militants have exploited the chaos to expand their foothold in the Arabian Peninsula.

But the war also marked an extension of the Saudis’ proxy fight with dominant Shiite power Iran, left at least 14,000 killed or wounded and triggered a humanitarian catastrophe, with nearly 1 million people having contracted cholera, and 3 million internally displaced.

Shiite Houthi rebels earlier this year accused Saleh of holding secret talks with the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally and member of its coalition in Yemen. The Houthis said Saleh — who denied the charge — crossed “red lines” and denounced his description of them as a militia, a term the Saudis use to challenge their legitimacy.

On Sunday, the Houthis said they fired a ballistic missile at a nuclear plant in Abu Dhabi, without providing any evidence to back up the claim. It was denied emphatically by the U.A.E. government.

Escalating violence could drive Yemen, a precarious nation only reunited in 1990, to completely disintegrate, becoming a failed state perched south of the world’s biggest oil exporter and a major maritime artery.

BLOOMBERG

  • Rascal

    Houthi only represent maybe 20% of the Yemen population and they are trying to control the whole thing through force so they must be liquidated.

  • Danny Farah

    I could careless about the Hooters but Saleh being dead is way overdue and i hope this bastard rot in hell.

  • MekensehParty

    It’s nice coming back in here to write about the death of yet another bloodthirsty tyrant
    If there is a hell it sure is for people like this guy
    Next

    • Y K

      “If there is a hell it sure is for people like this guy”

      There’s a special cell there reserved for the Fat Sack of Shit(tm). It’s double the regular size. The Devil wants him to feel comfortable. 🙂

  • Rudy1947

    What’s the big deal with Yemen? A minor oil producer, unemployment is above a third, khat is more important than agriculture, the fishing industry is meager and their water table is dangerously low. To Iran though it is a “major maritime artery” which gives Yemen vital importance.

    • Hind Abyad

      Here comes the other Nazi bird of prey.

      “The ancient history of Yemen (South Arabia) is especially important
      because Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East.
      Its relatively fertile land and adequate rainfall in a moister climate helped sustain a stable population, a feature recognized by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy, who described Yemen as Eudaimon Arabia (better known in its Latin translation, Arabia Felix) meaning Fortunate Arabia or Happy Arabia.

      Between the eighth century BCE and the sixth century CE, it was
      dominated by six main states which rivalled each other, or were allied
      with each other and controlled the lucrative spice trade: Saba’, Ma’īn, Qatabān, Hadhramaut, Kingdom of Awsan, and the Himyarite Kingdom.

      Islam arrived in 630 CE and Yemen became part of the Muslim realm.” Wikipedia

      • Rudy1947

        It’s 2017 and Yemen would be better off knowing that rather than listening to some two bit historian.

        • Hind Abyad

          Why would we listen to Israel 2halfMyths?

          • Rudy1947

            Check the literacy rates in Yemen. We’re all proud of your historical knowledge, just that it doesn’t apply in an illiterate and low productive country that is dying from mismanagement, greed and a lack of water.

          • Rainbow Sponge

            “We’re all proud of your historical knowledge”

            Distorted history…

          • Hind Abyad

            Ask your allied Saudis..what an inane post.

          • Rascal

            In all fairness, the general population appear to be very primitive and really, once you add a militant religion on top of primitive, there are not too many options on which type of government works best. I am thinking war-zone, terrorist basis, proxy militias, rampant corruption and extreme poverty are the plight of Yemen for the foreseeable future.
            The mental capacity and understanding of such basic things like human rights and freedoms does not appear to exist in Yemen.
            “Poster child” for failed state status.

        • Y K

          She is a specialist in Middle East history. It’s on her avatar, so it must be true. 🙂

      • Rainbow Sponge

        Sweetie, tell us more about how Deir Yassin was real.

      • Y K

        Wikipedia is run by the Zionists, didn’t you know that?

        • Hind Abyad

          Wikipedia can’t change 3000 years history.

    • Y K

      Yemen has one little natural gem – the island of Socotra – that’s really special and must be preserved for the sake of all humanity. Thankfully, it’s too far removed from the mainland to be affected by the civil war.

      • Rascal

        I agree, Socotra is a botanist wonderland. Weird and wonderful trees and vegetation that grows nowhere else in the world.

      • Rudy1947

        Thanx, wasn’t aware of what the island had to offer. Wow!

      • Scradje

        It looks like a fascinating place to visit. Did you go there? Is it safe?

    • doron

      It sits on the red sea entrance, thats all.
      Who ever controls yeman controls the straits

      • Rudy1947

        Look further north. Control the straits and you control the Suez Canal.

        • doron

          Good point.plus blocking israel’s traxe route to the far east

      • Niemals

        .. and Iran is the one that want to sit on the Strait of Hormuz and control the red sea entrance.
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f75083e1a4509133cf21d807dd15c44d7344429f81084d7898e5c618f866b49e.jpg The Strait of Hormuz is the most important oil transport channel in the world

        14 December 2011
        ‘If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure’: Iran threatens to shut Strait of Hormuz with military exercise.
        On 9 January 2012
        Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi denied that Iran had ever claimed that it would close the Strait of Hormuz, saying that “the Islamic Republic of Iran is the most important provider of security in the strait… if one threatens the security of the Persian Gulf, then all are threatened.”

    • Rascal

      As evident by the amount of ships that were attacked by Iranian armed Houthi and their “advisers” from Hezbollah and the IRGC. As soon as Iran sets up camp they start attacking everything. I hope the Sauds soon have it out with Iran otherwise they will continue to destabilize other countries in the region. Iran’s major export other that oil is terrorism.