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在线翻译:
szdaily -> World
Yemen rebels kill longtime strongman Saleh
    2017-December-6  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE killing of Yemen’s longtime strongman and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the country’s Shiite rebels as their alliance crumbled amid street clashes in the capital, Sanaa, has thrown the nearly three-year civil war into unpredictable new chaos.

A video circulating online Monday showed Saleh’s body with a gaping head wound dumped in a pickup truck by rebels — a grisly end recalling that of his contemporary, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, in 2011.

Saleh’s slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the days-long fighting for Sanaa while also shattering hopes by Yemen’s Saudi-backed government that the former president’s recent split with the Iranian-backed rebels, known as Houthis, would have weakened them.

That would give Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Saudi-led coalition backing it and waging war on the Houthis a chance for a turning point in the stalemated conflict that has brought humanitarian disaster.

It was a grisly end for Saleh, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades until an Arab Spring uprising forced him to step down in 2012. He later allied with the Houthi rebels hoping to exploit their strength to return to power. That helped propel Yemen into the ruinous civil war that has spread hunger and disease among its 28 million people.

Saleh’s death was announced by the Houthis and confirmed by two Saleh associates and a government official. Houthi officials said their fighters killed him as he tried to flee the capital for his nearby hometown of Sanhan.

The Houthis’ top leader said Saleh paid the price for his “treason,” accusing him of betraying their alliance to side with the Saudi-backed coalition.

Houthi and Saleh-loyalist forces have been fighting in Sanaa since late last week. The Saudi-led coalition has been hitting Houthi positions with airstrikes, hoping that having Saleh on its side after his split with the rebels could provide a foothold in the capital for the forces of the Saudi-backed president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

But by Monday evening, hours after Saleh’s death, witnesses said his forces had abandoned some of their positions in Sanaa and that Houthi fighters had moved into one of the most heavily contested districts, seizing Saleh’s house and those of some of his family members. Saudi airstrikes hit several Houthi positions in the evening.

One of Saleh’s sons, Salah Saleh, posted a call on his Facebook page for his allies to take up the fight against the rebels. He also urged the United Arab Emirates to allow Saleh’s most prominent son, Ahmed Saleh, who headed the elite Republican Guard under his father’s rule, to return to Yemen and lead forces against the Houthis.

When Saleh left power, he stayed in the country and kept the loyalty of many military commanders, splitting the armed forces between himself and Hadi. Saleh’s forces were key to helping the Houthis overrun Sanaa in 2014.(SD-Agencies)

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