Saudi-led coalition intensifies Yemen airstrikes as USA raises humanitarian concerns

Saudi-led coalition intensifies Yemen airstrikes as USA raises humanitarian concerns

"I will lead the battle until the last Houthi is thrown out of Yemen the blood of my father will be hell ringing in the ears of Iran", Ahmed Ali Saleh was quoted as saying.

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, who ruled Yemen for three decades, had joined forces with the Shiite Huthi rebels in 2014 when they took control of large parts of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

Fierce clashes broke out in Sanaa last week between Saleh supporters and the Iran-backed Houthis as a fragile alliance between the two sides broke down.

A video circulating on social media showed fully-veiled women chanting "The people want the martyr's body". But that alliance unravelled over the past week as the former leader reached out to the Saudi-led coalition that has waged an air campaign against the Houthis since March 2015.

ANALYSTS and commentators have rightly pointed out that killing of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former Yemeni president, removes the country's most important political figure for four decades from a complex equation that has plunged the Arab world's poorest nation into conflict and sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the armed Houthi movement in Yemen's civil war started a blockade of ports a month ago after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired toward its capital Riyadh from Yemen.

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Without mentioning Saleh by name, he said that he knew about Saleh's communication with the coalition and his efforts to turn against the Houthis.

Earlier in the day, Yemen's Interior Ministry issued a statement confirming the death of Saleh during clashes in capital Sana'a.

The bloody conflict has left impoverished Yemen as the world's leading humanitarian disasters with millions of people facing starvation.

The 75-year-old had survived a civil war, rebellion in the north, an Al-Qaeda insurgency in the south and a June 2011 bomb attack on his palace that wounded him badly.

In other areas like Fag Attan, Saleh's forces are still surrounded by Houthis.

The collapse of the alliance between Saleh and the rebels saw at least 100 people reported dead in fighting, accusations of betrayal and the former leader reaching out to the Saudi- led coalition. They briefly lost control of much of the city in the recent fighting with Saleh supporters before making a dramatic comeback.

Worldwide aid groups warned today they were losing the ability to reach civilians in Sanaa.

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