Saudi coalition intensifies airstrikes after Saleh’s death

Source:Reuters Published: 2017/12/6 23:28:39

A Saudi-led coalition intensified air strikes on Yemen early Wednesday as the armed Houthi movement tightened its grip on the capital after it killed former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who switched sides in the civil war.

Saudi Arabia and its allies struck a day after Saleh's son vowed to lead a campaign against the Iran-aligned Houthis.

The intervention by Ahmed Ali, a former leader of the elite Republican Guard once seen as a likely successor to his father, gives the anti-Houthi movement a potential figurehead after a week of fighting that saw the Houthis rout Saleh's supporters in the capital.

Yemen's war, pitting the Iran-allied Houthis who control Sanaa against a Saudi-led military alliance backing a government based in the south, has brought what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Saleh had helped the Houthis win control of much of the country's north, including Sanaa, and his decision to switch allegiances and abandon the Houthis in the past week was the most dramatic change on the battlefield in years.

But the Houthis swiftly crushed the pro-Saleh uprising in the capital and killed him.

Coalition fighter jets carried out dozens of airstrikes, both sides said, bombing Houthi positions inside Sanaa and in other northern provinces.

Yemen's pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station said the coalition bombed Saleh's residence and other houses of his family members.

Residents told Reuters loud explosions were heard in downtown Sanaa.



Posted in: MID-EAST

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