• Lexi Ponder

Ex-president's death decreases chance for peace in Yemen

The former president of Yemen has been killed in the nation’s capital of Sanaa, where he lived. Ali Abdullah Saleh died after several days of the brutal conflict between his forces and Houthi rebels, according to a senior aide to Saleh.

According to CNN, Sanaa’s Houthi-controlled Interior Ministry which announced his death stated, “The militias of treason are finished and their leader has been killed.” CNN reported that Saleh’s death came only two days after he announced that he would be parting ways with his former Houthi allies. He said he was doing so in order to “turn the page” on relations with the Saudi-led coalition that held a military intervention in Yemen of 2015.

His death makes the chance for peace in Yemen’s conflict less likely, and has, instead, intensified the “proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which backs the Houthis.” According to a Yemen analyst at the European Council of Foreign relations and former resident for Sanaa, Adam Baron, “Despite what may have seemed like a dramatic victory for Saleh, the Houthis fought back and they fought back hard.” He added that this makes the idea of a peace deal less possible to happen.

Saleh’s announcement “seemed to signal a breakthrough in the more than two-year war, potentially breaking a stalemate that has sustained the fighting,” according to CNN. However, it also led to greater conflict in his hometown of Sanaa, where residents say that the last 24 hours have marked the deadliest of Yemen’s war.

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