The Saudi-led coalition has assassinated Major General Ibrahim Ali al-Shami, a former commander of the pro-Houthis Yemeni Air Force, in a special intelligence operation inside the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, the al-Arabiya TV reported on January 17 citing special sources.
According to the UAE-based TV channel, Maj. Gen. al-Shami occupied the 19th position on the Saudi-led coalition’s most wanted list, which includes the names of 40 pro-Houthis military and political figures. The list is headed by Houthis leader Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi.
Contrary to al-Arabiya claims, al-Masirah TV said that Maj. Gen. al-Sham died of natural causes. The Yemeni TV channel even published a message of condolence that was sent by Mahdi al-Mashat, head of the Houthi-dominated Supreme Political Council, to al-Sham’s family.
“Late al-Shami was one of the military commanders who were known for their dedication to serve the homeland, he was an example of a successful military commander in carrying out all his tasks,” al-Mashat said in the message.
Yemeni sources said that the Houthis placed al-Shami under house arrest for unknown reasons after removing him from his position few months ago. However, pro-Houthis sources deny these claims.
During his service in the Yemeni Air Force, Maj. Gen. al-Shami planned and commanded several drone and missile attacks on the Saudi-led coalition. This makes his death a major lose for the Houthis, whether he was assassinated by the coalition or not.