Yemen humanitarian situation likely to worsen with Saleh death: Jim Mattis

Saleh's son calls for revenge Saudi media

The intervention by the exiled Ahmed Ali Saleh, if confirmed, could shift the balance of power yet again.

"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.

Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled to Riyadh in an armed uprising, the Houthis had called on Yemen citizens to resist the paramilitary rebel group "Ansar Allah".

"The plot hatched by (the United Arab) Emirates and Saudi Arabia to let Ali Abdullah Saleh stab (Yemeni) fighters and people in the back failed and he (Saleh) suffered the consequences of his actions", Velayati said Tuesday, answering a question about the recent developments in Yemen.

"This hostage-taking is typical of the climate of hostility in Yemen towards journalists, who are often targeted in this conflict", said RSF's Alexandra El Khazen.

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On Monday, Leader of Yemen's Ansarullah movement, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, said the movement has managed to thwart a major threat to the country's security by defeating the plot hatched by former president, Saleh, and his militia.

The death of Saleh, who once compared ruling Yemen to dancing on the heads of snakes, deepens the complexity of the multi-sided war. Saleh loyalists accused the Houthi fighters of raiding their bases across Sana'a and beyond, an allegation that the Houthi leader has strongly denied.

Saleh had helped the Houthis win control of much of the north, including Sanaa, and his decision to switch allegiance and abandon the Houthis in the past week was the most dramatic change in three years of stalemated war.

Saleh, who ruled in Sana'a from 1978-2012, had a strong following in Yemen, including army officers and armed tribal leaders who once served under him.

Mattis, speaking with reporters on a military aircraft en route to Washington after a brief trip to parts of the Middle East and South Asia, said it was too early to say what impact the killing would have on the war.

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