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Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh al-Ahmar (Arabic: أحمد علي عبد الله صالح الأحمر‎; born July 25, 1972) is the eldest son of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and was a commander of approx. 80,000 troops of the Republican Guard unit of the Yemen Army.[1] On April 14, 2015, the United States Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control added Saleh to the list of Specially Designated Nationals, barring US citizens and businesses from interacting with Saleh or his assets.[2]

Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh
أحمد علي عبد الله صالح
Ahmed Ali Abdallah Saleh cropped.jpg
Ahmed Ali Saleh as a young boy
Ambassador of Yemen to the United Arab Emirates
In office
19 May 2013 – 29 March 2015
PresidentAbdrabbuh Mansour Hadi
Succeeded byFahd Saeed Al-Menhali
Personal details
Born (1972-07-25) July 25, 1972 (age 47)
Sana'a, Yemen Arab Republic
RelationsAli Abdullah Saleh (father)
Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (uncle)
Yahya Saleh (cousin)
ReligionZaydi Shia Islam
Military service
Allegiance Yemen
Branch/service Yemen Army
Years of service1999–2012
RankBrigadier general
Commands Republican Guard 2004–2012
Special Security Forces 1999–2012
Battles/warsYemeni Civil War (2015–present)

Military careerEdit

On December 15, 2012, amid tensions between Republican Guard units and President Hadi, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Saleh refused to relinquish control of long-range missiles to the Defence Ministry, stoking fears of further clashing.[3] On December 19, President Hadi responded by issuing decrees announcing a restructuring of the military into four main branches including the land forces, the navy, the air force, and the border forces, effectively dissolving the Republican Guard and rendering Ahmed Saleh's position unnecessary.[4] This was widely seen as an effort on President Hadi's part to weaken the influence of Yemen's political and military elite.[5]

Though no longer in command of the Republican Guard, Ahmed Saleh apparently remains a part of the military, but in what capacity it is unclear. As recently as February 3, 2013, National Yemen newspaper reported him as having met with both President Hadi and the remaining leadership of the Republican Guard.[6]

Post-military careerEdit

Saleh was sworn in as Yemen's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi on 19 May 2013. The ceremony was also attended by UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, and the Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic, Dr. Ali Mansour bin Svaa. Nahyan emphasized the importance of Saleh's appointment as part of efforts to maintain close relations between the two countries.[7]

President Hadi had announced Ahmed’s dismissal on 29 March 2015, following the outbreak of the Yemeni Civil War. Saleh and his father were initially allied with the Houthis, which are fighting against forces loyal to Hadi.[8] The UAE terminated Saleh's ambassadorship on 7 April 2015 and revoked his diplomatic immunity. He was reported to have been placed under house arrest in his residence in Abu Dhabi. After his father was killed by the Houthis in 2017, Ahmed Saleh declared his animosity against the Houthis.[9]

As of May 2018, Saleh was living in his residence in Abu Dhabi and was reported to have intensified efforts to garner support from former senior members of the General People's Congress against the Houthis.[10]


  1. ^ Almasmari, Hakim. "Saleh cronies sacked in Yemen". The National. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Financial Sanctions: Yemen Designations". US Department of the Treasury. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Republican Guard Members Sentenced in Yemen". Reuters. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Yemeni president curbs rival's power in army Overhaul". Reuters. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  5. ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan (22 February 2013). "Powerful elite cast a shadow over reforms in Yemen". The Washington Post. London. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  6. ^ Al-Arashi, Fakhri. "Ahmed Ali Saleh Meets With Rep. Guard Leadership". National Yemen. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  7. ^ "General Ahmed Ali Saleh is sworn in as ambassador". Yemen Post. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  8. ^ "UAE revokes Ahmed Ali Saleh's diplomatic immunity". Yemen Times. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Exiled son of Yemen's Saleh takes up anti-Houthi cause". Reuters. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Saleh's Son Intensifies Efforts to Garner Support of his Father's Loyalists in Yemen". Asharq Al Awsat. 14 May 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)