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Yemen leader orders advance on Sanaa as predecessor killed
07 December 2017, 02:44 | Myrtle Vega
Supporters of Shiite Houthi rebels attend a rally in Sanaa Yemen following the killing of ex President Ali Abdullah Saleh
"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.
Air raids also struck northern provinces including Taiz, Haja, Midi and Saada, the rebel-owned channel said, although there was no immediate word on casualties.
The Arabian peninsula's poorest country, Yemen is one of the most violent fronts in a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, who have also backed opposing sides in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere across the Middle East.
Both Saleh and Houthis benefited from their four-year alliance as Saleh got Houthis manpower and firepower while Houthis gained from Saleh's governing and intelligence networks.
The rebels dispersed the protest but video footage of the women fleeing the scene was posted on social media. The coalition has been striking Houthi positions, hoping that Saleh's loyalists might allow forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to return to the capital.
On Monday, Houthis killed Saleh, a former ally, and moved to consolidate their grip on Sanaa after day of clashes.
Saleh's former Houthi Shiite allies claim he was killed for "treason" for reportedly seeking to switch alliance to the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Houthis for almost three years.
The analyst also warned that if Arabs do not unite, it will not be unusual to soon witness the effects of Iranian intervention, such as the emerging of sectarian conflicts, ethnic wars, and total destruction in other Arab countries.
On Monday, an official from Saleh's party, the General People's Congress (GPC), confirmed reports that the former president was killed by the Houthis. Now his exiled son Ali Ahmed Saleh has vowed to lead anti-Houthi Movement and it is to be seen to what extent he succeeds in winning back the family's influence in shaping the destiny of the country.
The bloody conflict has left impoverished Yemen as the world's leading humanitarian disasters with millions of people facing starvation.
The Houthis and Saleh's forces began fighting each other in Sanaa last week. The ensuing conflict has claimed more than 8,750 lives.
The International Committee of the Red Cross says that as many as 234 people have been killed in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, in street fighting this month between the country's Shiite rebels and the supporters of the slain former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Jamie McGoldrick of United Nations aid agency OCHA says civilians in Sanaa are "emerging from their houses after five days being locked down, basically prisoners", to seek safety, medical care, fresh water and other survival needs.
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