Two days earlier, Saleh announced the end of a three-year alliance with the Iranian-backed Houthis.
He said he wanted to “turn the page” on relations with the Saudi-led coalition that launched a military intervention against the Houthis in Yemen in 2015, leading to a crippling blockade of the country.
The Saudi coalition welcomed the move and granted Saleh’s forces air support in ensuing clashes with the rebels.
But for Saleh, known for his political cunning, the gamble proved to be a fatal move.
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