Yemen crisis: Saleh's party confirms his death

Yemen crisis: Saleh's party confirms his death

Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president of Yemen, has been killed by his former Houthi allies.

"Our appeals to the leader of the conference were met with a negative attitude", Houthi said.

A Houthi media official said Houthi fighters killed Mr Saleh as he tried to flee to Saudi Arabia through the province of Marib, to the east of the capital.

Media sources, the Yemeni Ministry of the Interior and the Houthis have all reported that Saleh was killed today; his General People's Congress confirmed the claims later in the day.

Mr Saleh, 75, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades, was overthrown in 2012 but joined forces with the Houthis three years later. Either Houthis will take full control of Sanaa or coalition & Hadi forces will push into city with full force in coordination with GPC.

The Saudi-led air campaign, backed by USA and other Western arms and intelligence, has killed hundreds of civilians but has failed to secure the coalition any major gains in the almost three-year-old campaign to restore Yemen's internationally recognised president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to power.

Saleh and his supporters formed an alliance with the country's Houthi rebels in 2014 against the internationally recognised government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, Saleh's successor.

The death of a leader who played a significant role in Yemeni politics is stunning, but experts say Saleh's death won't change the face of the conflict significantly.

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The Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the rebels in March 2015 and later expanded into ground operations.

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.

The Houthis and forces allied to Saleh swept into the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

The United Nations called for a humanitarian pause in Sanaa between the hours of 10 am and 4pm to allow civilians to leave their homes, aid workers to reach them, and the wounded to get medical care. The Houthis appeared to be targeting the homes of Saleh's family, political allies and commanders in this most recent round of fighting.

On Sunday, Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted that the uprising against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels "needs support" in order "to protect the Arabian Peninsula from Iran".

But even without Saleh's loyalists, the rebels remain a powerful force and it is unclear how much the break with Saleh weakens them.

The Saudi-led coalition imposed a total blockade in October on the country, where almost 80 percent of the people need humanitarian aid to survive.

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