Ex-leader of Yemen killed as rival groups of rebels wage war

Ex-Yemen President Saleh killed in Sanaa

Saleh, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades, was among the strongmen caught in the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

The rebel alliance splintered last week, setting off heavy clashes between the Houthis and Saleh's forces. Other accounts said Saleh had been shot.

"Let's join hands to end the control of these. criminal gangs and. open a new chapter to rid our beloved Yemen of this nightmare", Hadi said from Saudi Arabia, where he lives in exile. The new situation is critical and risky, and requires the interference of the Yemeni army and coalition forces in Sanaa, as well as working with Saleh's forces, which are still in shock.The people of Sanaa and the forces of the late Saleh have a great interest in fighting a war to reclaim their city from Houthis.

Saudi Arabia has lost a card which could help it eradicate the Iranian threat in Yemen. In recent weeks, Houthis have claimed responsibility for rocket attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which Gulf leaders have publicly accused Iran of helping facilitate.

He said the Houthis have put a stop to a massive plot, which represented a serious threat to the country and to its stability and security, as well as the unity of its people, by handing it over to its enemies, after they had failed to capture it in almost three years of battle.

In a speech on Saturday the 75-year-old abandoned Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favour of a Saudi-led coalition, saying he was ready for a "new page" in ties with the coalition and called the Houthis a "coup militia", leading them to accuse him of betrayal.

The tactical alliance between Saleh and the Houthis had often appeared fragile, with both groups suspicious of each other's ultimate motives and sharing little ideological ground.

Many pro-Saleh tribes are now expected to either join the legitimate forces or avoid supporting the Houthis.

"He has gone from having the reputation of being this supremely capable political operator within Yemen, to being somebody who was just out for personal power and was prepared to see tremendous suffering of the Yemeni people in the process", Mack said. Yasser al-Awadi, the assistant secretary-general of Saleh's political party, the General People's Congress (GPC), was also killed in the attack.

"Iran's win will definitely be reflected on the struggle for regional influence".

Albukhaiti said that fighters had secured key areas south of the capital, including the "very strategic" al-Mesbahi residential area, which is approximately 200 metres from Saleh's home. 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. Two thirds of the Yemeni population are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.

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