In Sana’a the Saleh-Huthi alliance is terminated, with extreme prejudice for Saleh himself whom the Huthis killed on 4 December 2017. An alliance contre nature at the best of times, the struggle for supremacy between the two groups defined their relationship since its start: tensions increased and deepened over time as the Huthi movement grew in strength at the expense of Saleh’s military.
This was partly due to Saleh’s early tactical error to instruct his military units and political supporters to work with the Huthis. Presumably, his plan was to let the Huthis take the blame for everything that went wrong while his own forces stayed in the background ready to respond to his orders when the time came. However, this allowed the Huthis to gradually take over most leading positions in the military leading to their becoming the stronger element, while they imposed their ‘supervisors’ throughout the civil administration system, who controlled the activities of the institutions.