FILE: Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Guidance Ahmed Al-Atiyah said that the Houthis have lost much of their power following the death of Saleh Al-Samad
CAIRO – 25 April 2018: The Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Guidance Ahmed Al-Atiyah said that Saleh Al-Samad, the Houthi rebel leader who was killed last week, had planned for the military attacks against civilians in Yemen.
In an interview with Egypt Today, Atiyah said that Samad, head of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, was one of those responsible for arming the Houthi militants, and was the link between Tehran and the Houthis.
Atiyah added that he was informed that Samad had moved weapons from Iran to Yemen, and that he was a frequent traveler between the two countries.
Iran is responsible for providing Houthis with the missiles that have targeted Saudi Arabia, Atiyah said.
During the 29th Arab League Summit in April, King Salman of Saudi Arabia said that some 119 missiles were launched by Houthi militants, some of which have targeted the holy city of Mecca.
Atiyah said that the Houthis have lost much of their power following the death of Samad.
Samad had followed up on the planting of landmines to target Yemeni civilians, which resulted in many children’s deaths, Atiyah said.
Along with others, Samad planned to assassinate late Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Atiyah claimed.
Saleh was killed on Dec. 4, 2017, two days after announcing the dissolution of his three-year partnership with the Houthi rebels against Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s internationally-recognized government
Reports said that Saleh was stopped in his car, dragged out by militiamen and executed alongside four others; the Houthi rebels then announced that they killed the former president.
Atiyah expressed thanks to Saudi Arabia and the coalition countries for the efforts they have made to put Yemen on the right track again. He also thanked Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which are part of the coalition, for their support to the Yemeni people.
Samad was killed Thursday along with six other Houthis in Saudi-led coalition air strikes, the armed Houthi movement in Yemen reported Monday.
“The forces of aggression, led by America and Saudi Arabia, bear the legal responsibility for this crime and all its consequences,” Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened against the Houthis in Yemen’s war in 2015 to restore Hadi’s government. The United Nations says 10,000 people died in the fighting.
The coalition consists of nine main countries, including Bahrain, Jordan and Sudan. Qatar was expelled from the coalition over accusations of supporting terrorism and being too closely allied with Iran.
Additional reporting by Amr Kandil