SANA’A, March 15 — President Hadi’s press secretary, Yahya Al-Arasi, has denied the truth of assorted news reports that Hadi had dismissed former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s nephew, Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, from his post of commander of the Presidential Guard.
Several Yemeni news websites and newspapers reported on Tuesday and Wednesday that Hadi had dismissed Saleh and had replaced him with colonel Abd Rabbu Meyad.
“This story is source-less and incredible, and the President and the Minister of Defense have both denied it,” Al-Arasi told the Yemen Times on Wednesday.
The UAE-based Al-Khaleej newspaper said that in late February, Hadi had rejected a proposal by foreign diplomats for the restructuring of Yemen’s army.
The GCC initiative, signed on November 23, 2011, stipulated the restructuring of Yemen’s army based on national and professional standards.
However, both military leaders who remained loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh and defected army commanders continue to run the military.
Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh - the former president’s eldest son - continues to command the Republican Guard, Yemen’s elite army division. The division possesses advanced military equipment and its troops comprise one-third of the national army.
Saleh’s nephew, Yahya Mohmmed Abdullah Saleh, also manages the Central Security Forces, while Saleh’s half-brother, Mohamed Saleh Al-Ahmar, continues to head Yemen’s Air Force.
Leading Army Defector Major General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar has maintained his position of commander of the northwest military region. Mohsen’s son, Mohammed, has meanwhile continued to serve as commander of the eastern military region.