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Yemen’s Regime Change Gets Personal

SANAA – When Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered his military on March 18 to fire on peaceful protesters calling for his resignation, he sealed his fate. A wave of military, government, and diplomatic defections, led by his long-time ally First Armored Brigade Commander General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, rocked his regime.

But, although al-Ahmar announced that he was appalled by the use of force and vowed to defend the constitution, his decision was anything but altruistic. The disgruntled general, who has long-standing ties to the type of jihadists that the United States is battling in Yemen, merely sought to settle a score with the president’s family.