Sana’a/Al Mukalla: Saleh Al Sammad, president of the Al Houthi regime’s Supreme Political Council, was killed in the eastern province of Hodeida on Thursday afternoon, the militia said in a statement.
Later, Al Houthi leader, Abdul Malek Al Houthi, said in a televised speech that Al Sammad was killed along with six of his associates in three coalition air strikes. He vowed to take “revenge” for his death. “We hold the aggressors, mainly the US and Saudi Arabia, responsible for the killing of Al Sammad,” he said.
The coalition had offered a $20 million (Dh73.4 million) reward for any information that led to Al Sammad’s capture, according to Al Arabiya TV.
Mahdi Al Mashat, a member of the Council and former secretary to Abdul Malek Al Houthi, has been appointed president of the Council, the statement added.
Local media reports said Al Sammad was in the Red Sea province inciting local people to fight off a huge offensive by thousands of elite forces led by General Tareq Mohammad Abdullah Saleh.
Commenting on the impact of Al Sammad’s death, Colonel Abdul Basit Al Baher, the deputy spokesperson for Yemen’s army in Taiz, told Gulf News that the killing of Al Sammad was an indication of a big rift within the movement. He said some insiders led the fighter jets to his location. "He was the president of the Supreme Political Council. His movements were secretive. I think some people within the movement gave his location to the Saudi-led coalition,” Colonel Al Baher said.
In another development, Sudan said it is committed to engaging actively in the Saudi-led coalition’s military operations in Yemen until its objectives are achieved, the country’s chief of staff said.
Lt. Gen. Kamal Abdul Marouf Al Mahi said his country was committed to continuing in the coalition until the mission is accomplished. The general was apparently responding to media reports on Al Houthi claims about heavy losses among Sudanese forces and his country mulling an exit from Yemen.
Missiles shot down
Meanwhile, the Al Houthis fired two ballistic missiles at a Saudi Aramco facility in the southern Saudi city of Jazan on Monday, but Saudi state media said the rockets were destroyed.