In a televised address on Monday, Hadi said that the Yemeni Army, which surrounds the Houthi-held capital Sanaa, would support all efforts to eradicate the Houthis.
He also said that he intended to establish a new Yemen dedicated to pluralism, democracy and freedom but that he needed the people’s help.
He said: “Yemen is passing through a decisive turning point that needs our unity and steadfastness in the face of these sectarian militias. Let’s put our hands together to end this nightmare.”
Saleh was assassinated by the Houthis on Monday, just two days after he broke ranks with them over severe disagreements. Houthi gunmen overran his home and the 75-year-old fled towards the village of Sanhan. On the way his convoy was stopped and he was shot dead, along with Arif Al-Zouka, secretary-general of the former president’s General People’s Congress party, and Al-Zouka’s deputy Yasir Al-Awadi.
A gruesome video of the assassination was posted on social media.
Rajeh Badi, a representative for the Hadi government, called this a sad day for Yemen and said that this should be a “turning point” against the Iran-backed Houthis.
He said: “[This is] yet another crime added to the bloody record of the Iran-backed Houthi militias. The gravity of the inhumane murder of Saleh should move all Yemenis to stand behind the legitimate government against the coup militias who have brought only chaos and destruction to Yemen, to the Yemeni people, and whose aim is to implement a sectarian Iranian agenda in the region.”
He continued: “The act is further proof that these militias adopt an ideology of exclusion. We call upon the Yemeni people to… join ranks with the legitimate government and against the evil terrorists.”
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar said that Saleh’s death was sad news but should unite all Yemenis against the Houthis and Iran.
He said: “It is very clear now that this is a fight between Arabs and Persians. All Arabs and Muslims will unite against the machinations of Iran. This will turn out to be the death-knell for Iran.”
He said that Saleh had made a mistake when he worked with the Houthis.
He said: “He thought he could share power with them. He should have known better. The Iranians never share power. They want everything for themselves or else they kill — which is what happened with Saleh.”
Saudi writer Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg, said that assassination was a favourite tactic of pro-Iranian groups like the Houthi militias, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Bashar Assad regime in Syria.
Saleh ruled Yemen for over 30 years through tenuous alliances but was replaced by his deputy, Hadi, in 2012. As a result, he joined with the Iran-backed Houthis to stage a coup against Hadi’s internationally recognized government.
On Saturday, he broke with the Houthis and offered talks with the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis.