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Yemeni rebel minister flees Sanaa, defects to Saudi Arabia Open in fullscreen

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Yemeni rebel minister flees Sanaa, defects to Saudi Arabia

The Houthis have controlled Hodeida since 2014 when they overran the capital Sanaa [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 November, 2018

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The information minister of Yemen's internationally recognised government said on Saturday his counterpart in the rebel administration, Abdul-Salam Ali Gaber, arrived in Saudi Arabia with his family after fleeing Sanaa.
The information minister of Yemen's internationally recognised government says his counterpart in the rebel administration has fled the country and defected to neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Moammer al-Iryani told The Associated Press on Saturday that his rebel counterpart, Abdul-Salam Ali Gaber, arrived in Saudi Arabia with his family after they fled Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

Gaber is the most senior member of the Houthi administration to defect since civil war broke out four years ago, dealing a blow to the rebels’ image as they battle an offensive by a Saudi-led coalition to retake the key Red Sea port city of Hodeida.

The Houthis have controlled Hodeida since 2014 when they overran the capital Sanaa and swept through much of the rest of the country, triggering an intervention by the Saudi-led coalition the following year and a devastating war of attrition.

The rebels have since been driven out of virtually all of the south and much of the Red Sea coast.

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