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Houthi-appointed Information Minister Flees Sanaa, Defects from Militia

The legitimate Information Minister has stated that his counterpart in the Houthi-appointed government has fled the country and defected to neighboring Saudi Arabia.

Information Minister Moammer Al-Iryani said Saturday that his Houthi counterpart, Abdul-Salam Ali Gaber, arrived in Saudi Arabia with his family after they fled Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, which has been under rebel control since 2014.

Houthi-appointed Information Minister Gaber is the most senior member of the Houthi government to defect since civil war broke out in 2014, 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 Hodeidah.

Meanwhile, President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a presidential decree appointing Ambassador Abdullah Ali Fadl Al-Saadi as his country’s new delegate to the United Nations in New York on Saturday, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

The statement, issued by Yemen’s news agency Saba, said that Al-Saadi, who had been Yemen’s ambassador in Turkey, will replace Yemen’s ambassador to Washington Amed Awad bin Mubarak, as well as the country’s United Nations representative Ambassador Khalid Al-Yamani, who will now serve as Yemen’s foreign minister.

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