Saudi-Led Coalition Provides Air Support for Yemen's Saleh

Yemen's former president Ali Abdullah Saleh killed in Sanaa

Yemen's rebel-controlled Interior Ministry says that ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former ally turned adversary of the Huthi rebel militia, has been killed.

Gun battles between the Houthis and Saleh loyalists erupted in the capital Sanaa on December 3 as residents reported a "street war" between the former allies.

Two of Saleh's associates have confirmed and a third official from the government of Yemen's internationally recognized president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has also confirmed.

Several Houthi military officials said Saleh was killed as he headed along with top party leaders from Sanaa to his hometown of Sanhan, nearby.

The breakdown of the alliance has led the coalition to step up its bombing of Houthi positions, in support of Saleh's forces. Residents reported at least five air strikes shook the highlands of the area.

The Houthis have also seized the homes of Saleh and some of his family members in a southern district of Sanaa - the so-called Political District - which witnessed some of the heaviest clashes.

"Saleh's actions in Yemen, in working with his former opponents the Houthis, were complicating numerous efforts at resolving the conflict", Harrison Akins, a researcher with the Howard Baker Center, told Newsweek.

Yemen has since been rocked by rebel infighting.

The group, backed by government troops loyal to Saleh, resumed its march south and attacked Hadi's interim capital in Aden, forcing Hadi to flee.

But in recent months, the alliance frayed amid Houthi suspicions Saleh was leaning toward the Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi. A Saudi-led alliance then waged a bloody war to reinstall him. Peace talks led by the United Nations have been frozen since August 2016 after no agreement was made.

Yemen has been decimated by almost three years of fighting and a Saudi-led bombing campaign backed by the United States.

Saleh on Saturday announced he was open to talks with Saudi Arabia and its allies on condition they ended their crippling blockade of Yemen's ports and airports. Earlier on Sunday, the Houthi television service said on its website that a "cruise missile" had been launched "towards the Al-Barakah nuclear reactor" without providing any evidence, according to Reuters.

The UAE state news agency WAM denied the report on its Twitter account.

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