Yemeni former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was shot dead on Monday by Houthi militias in Sana’a, in a closing scene of clashes that have been taking place in the capital since Thursday.
Saleh’s killing drove anger amongst the Yemenis, amid signs of the emergence of an alliance between political forces opposed to the coup and tribes that expressed their wishes for revenge.
Yemeni political sources said on Monday that Saleh’s blood opened the doors of isolation in the face of Houthis, who now lost the political coverage represented in the General People’s Congress (GPC) party and therefore they have found themselves in an open confrontation with the tribes, in addition to the legitimate forces.
For his part, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in a speech carried live on Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV, called for a new chapter in the battle against the Houthis after Saleh’s death.
“I call upon ... the Yemeni people in all provinces still suffering under this criminal and terrorist (Houthi) militia to rise in its face ... and cast it out,” he said.
Hours following Saleh’s killing, the GPC called on its leaderships and members in the capital and the rest of the provinces to unite and be patient.
There were also signs that one of Saleh’s sons could play a political role in the upcoming phase.
Several sources from the GPC party told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saleh had left his security zone in the area of Haddah in a small convoy accompanied by his guards and some members of his party. The sources added that Saleh took a road through the southern suburbs of the capital, heading to his hometown, Sanhan.
The sources added that Houthis had tasked an armed battalion to follow Saleh to an area located 25 kilometers south the capital, where he was detained and taken to the side of the street after arresting his guards.
The armed militants were later ordered to kill Saleh and abuse his corpse in a scene that drove rage among the Yemenis.