Published: Tue, December 05, 2017
Medical | By Alyssa Little

Hadi calls on Yemenis to rise up against Houthis after Saleh's death

Hadi calls on Yemenis to rise up against Houthis after Saleh's death

Saudi Arabia also intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen last week, which it said was a threat to regional and worldwide security. During the upheavals of the Arab Spring, Saleh acquiesced to a transfer in power, only to try and align with the Houthi rebellion in a bid to regain his old political preeminence.

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. Saleh's death was announced by the Houthi rebels who have been fighting Saleh's forces for the past week.

"We ask civilians to remain at least 500 meters (yards) away from Houthi military vehicles and gatherings", it said. Armed men could be seen loading the body into the back of a pickup truck in an empty, sandy lot.

The General People's Congress was Yemen's ruling party under Saleh but is now divided.

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"He was martyred in the defense of the republic", said Faiqa al-Sayyid, a GPC leader. Saleh then denounced Houthi missile strikes targeting Saudi Arabia. Sources in Saleh's party confirmed he died in an attack on his convoy.

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.

Firefighters hose a building in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the press.

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Military and government sources said the army would advance on Sanaa from the east and northeast, with at least seven battalions ordered to move forward. He also called for the opening of the roads and crossings for relief boats to reach the city and for commercial traffic.

The Saleh-Houthi alliance had been fraught since its inception in 2014, when the two ended decades of enmity and joined ranks to capture Sanaa from Hadi's government. Saleh and the Houthis conducted a multi-year insurgency against the internationally-recognized government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

However, evidence analysed by a research team of missile experts at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, indicate that the missile's warhead flew unimpeded over Saudi defences and almost hit its target, Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport, according to the report.

That dealt a serious blow to his already fragile alliance with rebel chief Abdul Malik al-Houthi. Saudi-led aircraft continued to fly overhead. "This latest violence couldn't come at a worse time".

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