Sources close to exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi leaked news about his deteriorating health on Thursday after reports emerged that he was hospitalised following a heart attack in the Saudi capital Riyadh where he has been residing since he fled the country five years ago.
According to the Yemen Press Agency, citing sources within the Hadi government, the Yemeni president is an intensive care unit at the King Faisal Hospital.
The sources disclosed that the 74-year-old was brought into intensive care twice over a 24-hour period with the hospital starting the process of implanting coronary arteries to try to save him.
However, Hadi’s office and his internationally-recognised government have so far not issued any official statement.
He was scheduled to leave for treatment in the US last month due to a significant deterioration in his health, but the flight ban amid the coronavirus pandemic prevented that.
Last month, a publication by the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies highlighted Hadi’s falling health and speculated the implications for the Yemeni state should he die.
The analysis noted that Hadi has already travelled to the world-leading Cleveland Clinic in the US for cardiovascular treatment on a private Saudi plane five times over the last five years, having reportedly only visited Yemen on six occasions within that time.
Hadi’s Vice President, Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, will likely succeed him due to constitutional technicalities, although he is even more reviled and divisive as a political figure in Yemen, with known links to Al-Qaeda.
Hadi’s departure could push Yemen, and the coalition fighting against the Houthis, into further instability and fragmentation.