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Yemen’s Houthi movement says leader’s brother ‘assassinated’

Ibrahim al-Houthi killed by 'hands affiliated with the US-Israeli-Saudi aggression', according to rebel-run media
Ibrahim Badruddin al-Houthi (Twitter)

Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement said on Friday that its leader’s brother had been “assassinated” by its adversaries. 

According to a statement carried by the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV channel, Ibrahim al-Houthi, the brother of the group’s leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, was killed by “treacherous hands affiliated with the US-Israeli-Saudi aggression”. 

The movement did not provide details on how or when Houthi was killed, but it threatened to “pursue and arrest the criminal tools that carried out the crime”.

According to the Emirati-owned Sky News Arabia, Ibrahim Badruddin al-Houthi was “one of the arms of Abdul-Malik al-Houthi in the [military] field, particularly the military operations near the Saudi borders”.

Middle East Eye could not immeditately verify whether Houthi did indeed carry out that role.

Since ousting Yemen's internationally recognised government in late 2014, the Houthis have battled a US-backed, Saudi-led coalition that entered the conflict in an attempt to reinstate President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's administration.

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The Houthi movement, which says its revolution is against corruption, holds Sanaa and other important urban centres, such as the strategic port city of Hodeidah.

The conflict, widely perceived as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has left tens of thousands dead and millions on the brink of famine.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming the rebellion in Yemen - a charge both Tehran and the Houthis deny. 

Houthi is not the movement's first prominent leader to be the victim of a targeted assassination.

In April 2018, the Houthis' political leader, negotiator and military commander Saleh al-Samad was killed in a likely targeted air strike.

Analysts at the time told MEE that targeted assassinations pose question marks over the security of the Houthi leadership, and may suggest that the coalition is recieving better intelligence about leaders' whereabouts and movements.