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Saudi Arabia confirms it killed senior official of Yemen’s Houthi movement

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Khaled bin Salman speaks at the Saudi-US Partnership Gala event in Washington on March 22, 2018. (Photo by the Saudi Royal Palace via AFP)

Saudi Arabia confirms that it has been behind the airstrike that killed the President of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council Saleh al-Samad last week.

Saudi forces “were able to successfully” target the senior official with the Houthi Ansarullah movement, Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Khaled bin Salman tweeted on Tuesday.

Khaled said his brother, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the Saudi defense minister, oversaw the attack, which came after Samad threatened to launch missile strikes in retaliation for Riyadh’s deadly bombardments.

Samad lost his life as his residence in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah was pounded on Thursday.

He was number two on the Saudi-led coalition’s most-wanted list and the alliance had offered $20 million for any information that would lead to his capture.

The Supreme Political Council was formed by the Houthi movement and the General People’s Congress Party to run state affairs in the absence of an effective government in 2016, a year after the Saudi regime and a coalition of its allies began their US-backed military aggression.

Yemen’s top governing body has appointed Mehdi Mohammad Hussein al-Mashat as its new head.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry has vowed a “crushing response” to the assassination, saying Saudi Arabia and the US will regret their “criminal adventurism.”

Leader of the Houthi Ansarullah movement Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi held the US and Saudi Arabia responsible for Samad’s killing, saying, “This crime won’t go unanswered.”

The Saudi aggression was launched in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government of president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and against the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration.

The offensive has, however, achieved neither of its goals despite the spending of billions of petrodollars and the enlisting of Saudi Arabia's regional and Western allies.

The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March 2015.

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