Top Houthi official killed in Saudi-led air strike in Yemen

Top Houthi official killed in Saudi-led air strike in Yemen

Yeman: A Saudi-led coalition air strike last week killed the top civilian leader in the Houthi movement in Yemen, the group reported on Monday, the most senior official to be killed by the Western-backed alliance in the three-year-old war.
Saleh al Samad held the post of president in the Houthi-backed political body which runs most of northern Yemen.
Houthi leader Abdul Malik al Houthi said in a televised statement that Samad was killed on Thursday in the port city of Hodeidah, on Yemen’s west coast, in several strikes which killed six others in his retinue.
“The forces of aggression, led by America and Saudi Arabia, bear the legal responsibility for this crime and all its consequences,” Abdul Malik al Houthi said.
There was no immediate coalition comment on the reports but Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya TV said the alliance had killed Samad after a “precise monitoring” of his movements.
At the United Nations meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned air strikes on a wedding party in Yemen that killed at least 20 civilians on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia and its mostly Gulf Arab allies accuse the Houthis of being proxies of their arch-rival Iran – charges the group and Tehran deny.
The Houthis control the capital Sanaa and are fighting forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government based in the southern port city of Aden. The government is backed by a mostly Gulf Arab alliance which in turn receives arms and other support from the United States and Britain.
Samad was second on the coalition’s most wanted list of Houthi leaders, after Abdul Malik al Houthi. It had offered a $20 million reward for any information that led to Samad’s capture.
The death of Samad dealt one of the biggest blows yet to the Houthi in a war that has killed more than 10,000 people and unleashed the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis.
The United Nations has been advancing efforts to bring the warring sides closer together and achieve a peace deal to spare the impoverished country further bloodshed.
Al Masirah reported that the Houthis had appointed Mahdi al Mashat, once director of Abdul Malik al Houthi’s office, to replace Samad.