SANAA, Yemen- Yemen's dominant Houthi rebels, announced that, their top official, President of the Supreme Political Council, Saleh al-Sammad, was killed in an air strike, by the Saudi-led coalition, in the Yemeni Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, according to a statement.

It said, al-Sammad, at the age of 39, was killed on Thursday, in Hodeidah city. Houthis vowed to avenge his death, said the statement, which provided no further details on the circumstances of his death.

Also in the statement, the Houthis declared the appointment of Mahdi al-Mushat, as new president of the Supreme Political Council, which is the highest political and ruling body, since Houthis seized control over much of the country's north.

In Sept, 2014, al-Sammad was appointed as an adviser and representative of the Houthi group, in the presidential office of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Five months later, Houthis stormed the capital Sanaa, and forced Hadi and his government into exile.

On Aug 6, 2016, al-Sammad was appointed by his group as President of the Supreme Political Council. Al-Sammad had served as a teacher of Islamic teachings, before he was pushed by his group into the political stage in 2014.

Saudi Arabia had offered 20 million U.S. dollars for any information that leads to his capture or death. The coalition considered al-Sammad as the No. 2 leader, after the group chief, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

The killing of al-Sammad is considered the most powerful blow, so far, on the Houthi movement.


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