Houthi rebels kill ex-Yemeni president Saleh

Yemen

I was planning on analyzing The Economist’s latest cover story, which analyzes the humanitarian tragedy in Yemen. However, today’s news of Houthi rebels killing ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh is a shocking development:

IT WAS an unceremonious end for an Arab leader who had dominated his country for decades. On December 4th Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former dictator, was killed outside the capital Sana’a, which has been paralysed by a week of fighting. A video circulated online showed his bloodied body wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by militiamen. State television called the former president “the leader of the traitors”. His death is likely to escalate a three-year civil war that has laid waste to the country. It was also a microcosm of Yemen’s complexity: Mr Saleh was killed by former foes who had become allies, only to become enemies again.

As The Economist discusses above, an already-complex war has become even more so.

The implications of this murder on the plight of Yemenis, who have been suffering from starvation and cholera, could be staggering. If Daniel Larison is correct, an already-intolerable humanitarian crisis could become far, far worse:

The fighting in the capital over the weekend was already very destructive and caused many civilian casualties, and further fighting between the factions there will be even more devastating. If the breakdown of the Houthi-Saleh alliance prompts a coalition assault on the capital, the loss of life could be great. The humanitarian situation in the country continues to grow more dire as the coalition blockade deprives the population of essential food, fuel, and medicine. The civilian population needs a complete halt to the fighting now more than ever, but unfortunately that seems unlikely to follow these events.

Please pray for the poor souls suffering in Yemen.