Clashes between forces loyal to Saleh and Houthis escalates
In the fast moving developments in the Yemen war, Saudi Arabia has unleashed a fresh wave of aerial bombardments against Houthi targets in capital Sana’a in an imminent effort to support forces loyal to former President Ali Abadullah Saleh, who has recently indicated his separation from Houthis.
Meanwhile, Aljazeera speaks of conflicting reports about the fate of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh quoting social media after residents said his house in the capital Sana’a had been bombed by Houth rebels.
However, Saleh’s party, the General People’s Congress has denied reports on Monday by Iranian backed media that he was killed in the explosion. Doha based network has confirmed that the head of Saleh’s security detail, Hussein al-Hamidi was killed but did not provide further details.
Recently, former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, one time Saudi Arabia’s ally, had indicated to begin a new page in his relations with Riyadh. Since the beginning of the Saudi invasion, Saleh and his loyal fighters were fighting along with Houthis to defeat the Saudi led coalition.
A Sana’a based activist Hussain Albukhaiti has told Aljazeera on Monday that Houthi rebels had gained control of the majority of the country’s capital from Saleh’s forces. He said that Houthis have secured key areas south of capital including “very strategic” ones. He further said, “only small pockets remain”.
“The area around his home is completely surrounded and may be taken over by the Houthis within the next few hours,” Albukhaiti said.
On Sunday, Yemen’s Houthis had claimed of hitting a nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi. Earlier a long range missile was fired at Riyadh airport. Saudi Arabia had alleged that Iranians have provided the missiles, which was denied by Tehran.
The Yemen crisis began after 2011-12 revolution against Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled the country for more than two decades. After Saleh left office in early 2012 as part of a mediated agreement between Yemeni government headed by Saleh’s former vice president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and Houthi rebels.
Thereafter Saudi led coalition started bombing campaign against the poorest country in the region. More than 8,600 people have been killed and 49000 injured. Recently UN had warned of human catastrophe because of ongoing Saudi blockade.
Yemen’s administration is currently run by Ansarullah movement of Houthis who are considered to be Iranian allies while Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who lives in exile in Riyadh, is still recognised as country’s president.