first published on April 24, 2018 by Sean
Saudi-led coalition airstrike kills Houthi rebel’s second in command, Saleh Al-Sammad last week in eastern Yemen. The targeted assassination is a major setback to the Iranian supported militia that has been the central cause of the country’s brutal three-year civil war.
Saleh Al-Sammad was second from the top on the Saudi coalition’s most-wanted list in Yemen. Coming just after leader Abdel Malek Al-Houthi, the strike now negates a previously offered $20 million reward by the coalition for Al-Sammad’s head.
The rebel’s confirmed last week’s strike, publishing a statement on the Houthi-run Saba news agency. Al-Sammad was head of the Houthis’ “Supreme Political Council” and was killed in the rebel held eastern province of Hodeida.
According to local journalist Baligh Al-Mekhlafi and reported by Arab News, “This is a qualitative operation, which indicates the high intelligence efforts of the collation after they succeeded in snatching the second in command of the Houthi militias,” he said.
Al Samad’s death came as Saudi-led coalition forces escalated operations against the Iran-backed rebels in Hodeida and Taez provinces in Yemen. Local troops and UAE Armed Forces, which play a leading role in the coalition, are currently supporting an offensive near the Red Sea port city of Mokha as part of a campaign to break a rebel siege on Taez city.
These recent developments may finally indicate a power shift in the brutal conflict. The Saudi-led coalition’s technology and firepower may finally be taking their toll on the Houthi’s, eliminating the rebels powerful and influential leadership.