Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed near the country’s capital of Sanaa. His death was confirmed by his political party, the General People’s Congress, according to Al-Jazeera.
Video footage of a body resembling Saleh has been circulating on social media. One image depicted how armed men used blankets to transport his corpse from the back of a pickup truck, Al-Jazeera reported.
Earlier media reports indicated that Houthi rebels, Saleh’s former allies-turned-rivals, blew up his residence in Sanaa. Houthi sources also announced that Saleh was killed during an attack on his car.
Houthi TV announced the “killing of the treacherous leader Ali Abdullah Saleh and his supporters. This is after he and his men blockaded the roads and killed civilians in a clear collaboration with the enemy countries of the coalition.”
It went on to state that the country’s ministry of interior released a statement announcing the takeover of “all the positions and strongholds of the treacherous militia in the capital Sanaa and the surrounding areas, as well as other provinces in order to impose security.”
Saleh’s rule over Yemen extended for more than three decades. Though he was deposed in 2012, he remained a key factor in the country’s ongoing resistance to the Saudi-led, U.S. and British-backed war against the country, allying his forces with Houthi rebels.
However, Saleh’s death comes two days after he expressed willingness to discuss issues with the Saudi-led coalition, a move that was deemed “a coup” against the alliance of Houthi rebels.
Hussain Albukhaiti, a Sanaa-based activist, informed Al Jazeera that Houthi forces had wrestled control of most areas in Sanaa patrolled by Saleh’s forces early Monday morning. “Only small pockets remain.”
He noted that the “very strategic” Al-Mesbahi residential area, approximately 200 meters from Saleh’s residence, had also been secured by Houthi rebels. “The area around his home is completely surrounded and may be taken over by the Houthis within the next few hours.”
Since the bombing campaign against Yemen began in 2015, the U.K. has licensed roughly US$4.2 billion dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia, according to PressTV.
In early June, the U.S. Department of Defense also confirmed a US$750 million military sale to Saudi Arabia. It included U.S. made missiles, bombs, armored personnel carriers, warships, munitions, and a “blanket order training program” for the Saudi security forces receiving the military equipment both inside and outside the kingdom, Reuters reported.
Amid the bombing and devastation, which has killed over 33,000 people and forced more than a million to flee their homes, Yemen also faces a severe cholera outbreak that has claimed the lives of at least 2,119 people according to Alexandre Faite, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Wolfgang Jamann, head of the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief, a non-governmental humanitarian agency, described the ongoing crisis in Yemen as being an absolute “shame on humanity.”
Top photo | In this Sept. 3, 2012 file photo, former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks during a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of his General People’s Congress party in Sanaa. (AP/Hani Mohammed)
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