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The Death of Ali Abdullah Saleh: Sana’a Turns the Chapter & Marks the End of ’the First Man’
Local Editor

Yemen turned the page of Ali Abdullah Saleh. The "historic" president ended up drowning in his blood after fleeing following the failure of his coup against the allies in the Ansarullah movement.

Ali Abdullah Saleh

Many questions and scenarios surfaced after the killing of the "man of all stages", ranging from the ‘anticipated' partisan and tribal reactions and their effects on the political and military situation, to the reading of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi's loss of a new "proxy" battle with the Ansarullah. The latter's sources confirmed that "things are under control" and communication with the "honorable in the Congress Party" folded a new journey of blood and chaos in the country. But the "poorest country in the world" will continue to face fierce aggression, and the killing of Saleh only opened the path towards greater ferocity on the battlefield and moving away from a political solution.

After nearly four decades of monopolizing the position of the "first man" in Yemen, the life of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who left the palace in 2012 after 33 years of rule, has ended. However, he did not let go of power but held on to it until his last breath. Yesterday, the country turned an important chapter in its history, and the battle with the forces of aggression entered a new stage, more decisive and clear. Its intensity resembles the geography of the land and the nature of its people.

In Yemen, it is clear that the rules of the game have changed. The rule is no longer like "dancing on the heads of snakes" as the skilled dancer Saleh used to say. It has become like tango. It needs two partners. Therefore, Ansarullah sources confirm that they are "heading towards better and clearer communication with the Congress Party away from the principle of quotas that prevailed before" to achieve "a real partnership called national unity and repelling the aggression". In this context, the movement's spokesman, Mohamed Abdel Salam, said "the General People's Congress (GPC) is our partner in the political council and in the face of aggression, and strengthening cooperation is more necessary."

No fall according to Saudi timing

On February 26, 2012, a day before Saleh officially handed the presidency over to his deputy, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Al Arabiya website said that after signing the Gulf Initiative, Saleh would be devoted to writing his memoirs titled "My Story with the Snakes". The first part would include "his journey until his departure from the presidency and the second part will remain open until he exits the political scene completely."

Yesterday, the "fox" exited the political arena. He had memorized its corridors and moved from one front to the other in a subtle and clever way, as a blood-stained body carried on a blanket. He did not write his memoirs. Even if he wrote it, he would not have expected such an end.

An end where the leader of Ansarullah, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, saw the failure of "the forces of aggression and the Saudi regime backed by the Americans and British". He addressed them at a press conference yesterday, saying: "Die in your rage. Your aggression is a failure, and you will not reach a result."

Al-Houthi also praised the "responsible attitude" of the leaders of the Congress Party and its supporters, saying that "the battle was with specific militias and their leader who managed them, and not with the Congress Party." He stressed that "many of the honorable people of the Congress Party made an effort to bring down this plot."

On the other side, the Saudi-UAE media and military were mobilized to their peak. Despite the foiling of the "Saleh coup", the screens and websites affiliated with the forces of aggression continued to promote the "Arabism Intifada", overwhelming their viewers with "breaking news" confirming that "the Yemeni army commanded the forces at the Nehm front to march towards Sana'a" as they warmly welcomed resigned president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi ‘s announcement of "the start of a military operation under the name of Sanaa's Arabism and convoys heading towards the capital" and the nearing of the "fall" of the latter. But it turned out that Sana'a toppled Saleh, the fugitive.

Saleh's death yesterday was surprising. However, his "card" was practically burned down following the failure of the "aggression" in using the "inside" after field failures stretching over the course of nearly three years. In detail regarding the last hours before Saleh's death, a source in Ansarullah pointed to "the extent of collapse in the ranks of the treasonous militias", proclaiming "the surrender of hundreds of elements to the security services." Ansarullah rejected all mediations to extend the lifeline of the "ally of necessity" accused of "great treason". While Saleh believed that Houthi would "bite on the wound" as he did on previous occasions, he was surprised by the decision to "hit with an iron fist" following information to the movement confirming that he was seeking "to end the presence of Ansarullah in the capital" and not just "create a balance".

Saleh's second shock was that a large number of tribes and even members of the "Congress" abandoned him. They did not respond to his calls for the "Intifada" and stood against his coup, making him just another "Hadi".

In an interview with Al-Akhbar, the sources added that after his defeat was insured, the Yemeni president tried to escape from his hiding place "in a convoy of nine armored cars". According to the source, Saleh was killed on the way along with the secretary-general of the Congress Party, Arif al-Zuka, and several others close to him.

A "Bloated" Influence

Yesterday's events confirm Saleh's "delusional" and bloated influence in Yemen in the final stages. The "departure of the dancer on the heads of snakes" did not break the calmness of the capital, which did not hear his recent appeals and was not engulfed in angry and condemning demonstrations. No sound except the roar of aggression planes was heard as 50 raids in support of the "new ally" and taking him to "safety" failed.

A "disappointment" added to the countless disappointments of the aggression alliance since the start of the bombing and the imposition of the blockade in 2015. While Riyadh claims it does not care about Saleh, and that he was a rival in its war, the reality proves the contrary, given the narrow options of the Kingdom, on the ground and politically. In the past two days, Saudi Arabia has supported the former president to the extreme. It even appeared as if it would place him instead of Hadi on the throne of "legitimacy." After the large field losses, Riyadh had to resort to "politics," considering Saleh a "final" card that could be used in a battle in which the weak and helpless resigned president Hadi provided nothing, even if he was supported by the whole world.

Ali Abdullah Saleh was absent from the scene. Sana'a is cautiously awaiting the internal and external reactions, although Ansarullah sources are indicating that the group is "taking control of the situation" and dealing with the "Congress" party as if it lost a key member and did not break its contract. The former president garnered enemies inside and outside Yemen, leaving only his clan and followers lamenting him.

Source: Al-Akhbar Newspaper, Transalted by website team

06-12-2017 | 12:01

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