Yemen war: Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh 'killed'

07 Décembre, 2017, 02:27 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • A boy stands behind armed Houthi followers attending a rally to celebrate the killing of Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa

Residents reported heavy bombing, and a United Nations official said at least 25 airstrikes hit the city over the past 24 hours.

Saleh was assassinated in a shooting on Monday December 4 by the Houthi militia while he was heading to his home in Sanhan city, Sanaa.

The U.N. Security Council is calling on all sides in Yemen to de-escalate the sharp upsurge in violence and re-engage with U.N. political efforts to achieve a cease-fire without preconditions.

Although the blockade later eased and showed signs of breaking on Wednesday, Yemen's situation remained dire.

A second group of women gathered in front of Sanaa military hospital, shouting: "The people want the remains of the leader", witnesses said.

Saleh's son Salah said on Facebook Tuesday that he won't receive condolences for his father's death until "after avenging the blood" of the former leader. A spokesman quoted Aboul-Gheit as saying the global community should label the Houthis a "terrorist" organization.

The commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Yemen's enemies had been behind Saleh's armed uprising and praised what he called the Houthis' swift quashing of the "coup against the holy warriors", the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

At least 13 other journalists and media workers are now held hostage in Yemen by armed groups, including the Houthis and al-Qaeda.

RSF's sources said the journalists were forced to surrender the TV channel's access codes, enabling the Houthis to broadcast their own content.

Saleh on Saturday announced he was open to talks with Saudi Arabia and its allies on condition they ended their crippling blockade of Yemen's ports and airports.

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The killing of Yemen's ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the country's Shiite rebels as their alliance crumbled has thrown the almost three-year civil war into unpredictable new chaos.

Yemen's civil war has emerged as one of the main battlegrounds in the Saudi-Iranian rivalry for regional influence.

But that alliance unravelled over the last week, with heavy fighting across the capital, and Saleh was reportedly shot dead by Huthi fighters after he fled the city.

Saleh, who ruled in Sana'a from 1978-2012, had a strong following in Yemen, including army officers and armed tribal leaders who once served under him. He later allied with the Houthi rebels hoping to exploit their strength to return to power.

It also shatters hopes by Yemen's Saudi-backed government that Saleh's recent split with the Iranian-backed rebels, known as Houthis, would have weakened them and given the government and the Saudi coalition backing a chance for a turning point in the stalemated war that has brought humanitarian disaster.

Saleh was killed on Monday after he tried to break off the alliance with the Houthis and negotiate with the Saudi coalition.

Saleh's slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the dayslong fighting for the country's capital, Sanaa.

President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, the head of Yemen's internationally recognised government, moved to take advantage of the chaos by ordering an offensive to retake the capital.

However, in late November, the tensions between the former allies escalated and resulted in clashes that have already claimed lives of hundreds of people, including the ex-president himself.

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