Ahmed Ali Saleh, the son of Yemen's slain ex-president, has called for revenge against the Houthi militia that killed him. Much will depend on whether he manages to command the supporters of his strongman father. Lucy Fielder reports.
The son of Yemen's slain ex-president has called for revenge against the armed Houthi movement that killed him. The Iran-aligned rebels killed Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday (December 4) after he switched sides in the civil war, abandoning his erstwhile Houthi allies in favor of a Saudi-led coalition. The intervention by his son Ahmed, who said he wanted to confront the enemies of his homeland, could further shift the balance of power. Ahmed Ali Saleh once led the elite Republican Guards and is currently in exile in the United Arab Emirates. Much depends now on whether he can command the loyalty of his father's supporters. The elder Saleh ruled Yemen with a mixture of force and cunning for 33 years. Until Saturday's (December 2) sudden shift, his loyalists fought with the Houthis and helped them seize control of much of the country. Despite a nearly three-year Saudi-led bombing campaign, the Houthis still command support. Vast crowds in the streets on Tuesday (December 5) showed support for their control of the capital, Sanaa. Taking advantage of a lull after nearly a week of air strikes and fighting. Aid agencies say more than 230 people have been killed and 400 wounded. One of the Arab world's poorest countries has suffered dearly for being on the frontline of a Saudi-Iranian power struggle. With warring parties blocking food supplies, millions may die in what the U.N. warns could be one of the worst famines in modern times.