Yemen's Former President Saleh Killed After Houthis Stop His Motorcade

Yemen's Former President Saleh Killed After Houthis Stop His Motorcade

Aram... Ali Abdullah Saleh is said to have been killed after switching sides in Yemen's civil war.

As president of Yemen, Saleh had fought the Houthis in five conflicts between 2005 and 2012, before allying with them in 2014 after the Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation to restore the internationally-recognized president, Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, after the Houthis had deposed and arrested him.

Earlier on Monday, a Sanaa-based activist said that the Houthis had gained control of most of Sanaa from Saleh's forces.

The death is expected to have a major impact on the Iranian-Saudi proxy war taking place in Yemen, the poorest nation in the Arab world.

As the first reports of Saleh's death came in, the Saudi-led coalition that has waged devastating air strikes against the Huthis since September 2015 warned residents to evacuate rebel-controlled areas.

"This will not bring Yemen any closer to an end in fighting", said al-Masmari.

In 2011, as the Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia and Egypt, the Yemenis started their own spring to end the iron-fist rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. It will be recorded in history books that the Saleh era in Yemen was torn down in a bloody civil war, amid a catastrophic humanitarian crisis the likes of which should never come to pass in the 21st century.

"We ask civilians to remain at least 500 metres away from Huthi military vehicles and gatherings".

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A military source said the Huthis stopped their 4-car convoy about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Sanaa and shot dead Saleh and two other senior GPC officials.

"The problem is not with the General People's Congress as a party or with its members".

Any hope of the coalition that Mr Saleh could have been bought off to help turn the tables against the Houthis after a protracted stalemate, in which a Saudi-led blockade and internal fighting has exposed millions to hunger and epidemic, has been dashed.

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

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the press. "The president will soon announce a general amnesty for all those who collaborated with the Huthis in recent months and who have retracted that allegiance", Prime Minister Ahmad Obaid bin Daghr said.

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

Mack told VOA, before news of Mr. Saleh's death, the former president "wanted to have one chance to restore his reputation, which has been terribly, terribly damaged during the past decade".

The rebel leader claimed many ordinary Yemenis were shocked by [Saleh's] calls for strife, combat, upsetting peace and security, and he says he tried in a fraternal and peaceful way to avoid the current conflict by talking [with Saleh].

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