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Houthi leader seeks to escape to Iran

The Houthi armed group's leader is searching for an escape route to Iran in a bid to avoid being assassinated, Yemen Today reported. "Unannounced" moves by Houthi officials seek to relocate Abdul Malik Al-Houthi from Saada governorate as the Yemen National Army (YNA) marches towards his hometown in Maran.

According to Yemen Today, sources have speculated that Abdul Malik Al-Houthi would leave for Iran with the support of Iranian intelligence officers, to prevent any pre-mediated assassination by the Saudi-led coalition.

The Saudi-led coalition executed air raids on Abdul Malik Al-Houthi's headquarters and forced him to flee to mountainous areas in northern Yemen in recent days.

The YNA have made significant advances in Saada, with assistance from Saudi-led coalition air cover. It appears that the coalition is seeking to wipe out Houthi leadership, just as the United States has done for the past decade against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen.

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Early this week the Saudi-led coalition executed air strikes into the Houthi-controlled presidential palace in Sana'a. The coalition's spokesperson, Turki Al-Maliki, claimed intelligence found that first and second tier Houthi leadership were present and were targeted, insinuating a broader targeted killing operation against the Houthis.

The US government is assisting the Saudi-led coalition militarily in "refuelling and logistics," which begs the question whether any attempt to target Abdul Malik Al-Houthi would be supported by the Americans. Last month Saleh Al-Samad, the Houthi political leader who was killed by a targeted drone strike, said it is possible that the US supported the strike with locational intelligence.

The Saudi-led coalition was invited by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to neutralise territorial treats posed by the Houthi armed group since September 2014. The Houthis continue to control large swathes of territory from Saada governorate to the capital Sana'a, including the strategic port city of Hudaydah.

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