DUBAI (Reuters) - Yemen’s Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi hailed the death of the group’s rival, ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, as a victory against a Saudi-led coalition it has fought for nearly three years.
Foes and supporters said Saleh was killed in a roadside ambush after switching sides in the civil war, abandoning his Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favour of the Saudi-led coalition.
Al-Houthi congratulated Yemenis “on this historic, exceptional and great day in which the conspiracy of betrayal and treason failed, this black day for the forces of the aggression”.
The uprising of Saleh’s armed loyalists against the Iran-aligned group was the greatest threat the country had faced but was defeated in three days, al-Houthi added.
He said his movement, which hails from a Shi‘ite Muslim sect, would maintain the country’s republican system and that it would not pursue a vendetta against Saleh’s party.
“The problem is not with the General People’s Congress as a party or with its members.”
Al-Houthi hailed a missile launch announced by the group towards the United Arab Emirates this week as a message against its enemies, advising against foreign investment in the UAE and Saudi Arabia as their campaign in Yemen continues.
Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Alison Williams