Yemen’s Saleh may possess chemical weapons

A supporter of Yemen's former president Saleh holds up his portrait during a rally.

A supporter of Yemen’s former president Saleh holds up his portrait during a rally.


The spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition forces, did not rule out the possibility that former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh may be in possession of chemical weapons, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said that Saleh is an unpredictable man from who any behavior can be expected to preserve his position.

Asiri made the remarks during a daily briefing session in Riyadh on the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

During the ninth daily brief, Asiri also said that if true, the Saudi-led coalition would, immediately, retaliate to protect Yemeni people.

He added that the coalition is taking utmost precautions and considering all the possibilities.

Violence has sharply escalated in Yemen following a Saudi-led air campaign launched on March 26 to stop an advance by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that forced President Abedrabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.

The United Nations is backing Hadi as Yemen’s legitimate leader in the face of the Houthi uprising that has plunged the poor Arab state deeper into chaos.

The Houthis and miltias of the deposed leader Saleh seized power in the capital Sanaa in February and last month advanced on the port city of Aden, Hadi’s stronghold, forcing him to go into exile.


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