Saleh, who ruled with an iron fist for three decades, had joined forces with the Shiite Houthi rebels in 2014 when they took control of large parts of the Arabian Peninsula country, including the capital Sanaa. It will support besieging Houthis in their areas in Northern Yemen in case the commanders of Saleh's army made a decision to fight alongside the Yemeni army.In the past few days, Saleh attempted to liberate Sanaa, which has been occupied by the coup perpetrators since 2014, when Houthi forces took over the headquarters of the First Brigade, leading to the defeat of all other military and security bodies without any resistance.Questions are today raised about how strong Houthis are in Sanaa.
Speaking later on television, President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the leader of the internationally recognized government, called on Yemenis to unite against the Houthis. Saudi Arabia also intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen last week, which it said was a threat to regional and global security.
The 75-year-old had survived civil war, rebellion in the north, an al-Qaida insurgency in the south and a June 2011 bomb attack on his palace that wounded him badly.
The death is expected to have a major impact on the Iranian-Saudi proxy war taking place in Yemen, the poorest nation in the Arab world.
The war in Yemen, the Arab world's most destitute country, plunged into a new and uncertain chapter Monday when its former president was killed amid an explosive bout of fighting that has convulsed the capital.More news: The victor of 2017 X Factor has been announced
More news: Former US Marine convicted of killing, raping 20-year-old Japanese woman
More news: Syrian state media: Israeli missiles strike near Damascus
"We ask civilians to remain at least 500 meters (yards) away from Houthi military vehicles and gatherings", it said. On Dec. 3, Saleh formally dissolved his alliance with the Houthis. Armed men could be seen loading the body into the back of a pickup truck in an empty, sandy lot.
Officials in his own General People's Congress party said Saleh was killed outside Sanaa in an RPG and gun attack on his convoy along with the GPC's assistant secretary general, Yasser al-Awadi.
"He was martyred in the defense of the republic", said Faiqa al-Sayyid, a GPC leader.
Houthi also said he had sent several warnings to Saleh. The new situation is critical and risky, and requires the interference of the Yemeni army and coalition forces in Sanaa, as well as working with Saleh's forces, which are still in shock.The people of Sanaa and the forces of the late Saleh have a great interest in fighting a war to reclaim their city from Houthis. Government forces are leveraging their control of Mar'ib, a strategically significant and resource rich city east of Sanaa, to launch a multi-axis offensive on the rebel-held capital.