Ali Abdullah Saleh (Arabic: علي عبد الله صالح, ʿAlī ʿAbdullāh Ṣāliḥ; 21 March 1942 – 4 December 2017) was the inaugural President of Yemen whose ascension to power came after the assassination of President Ahmad al-Ghashmi. He was elected President of Yemen Arab Republic (the Yemen Arab Republic) in 1978 at the age of 36, and subsequently became the first President of Yemen following the Yemeni unification with South Yemen in 1990. During his two decades in power, he was accused of plundering billions of dollars from the poorest Arab nation. Saleh has been described as a dictator.
Long considered a moderate President, he oversaw his country's development of deeper ties with Western powers, especially the United States, in its fight against terrorism. In 2011, in wake of the "Arab Spring" that spread across Yemen, Saleh's time in office became more and more untenable, until eventually he was ousted as President of Yemen in 2012. He was succeeded in office by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
More recently, Saleh had openly allied with the Houthis (Ansar Allah), leading to the Yemeni Civil War, in which a protest movement and a subsequent insurgency succeeded in capturing Yemen's capital, Sana'a, causing President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to resign and flee the country.
In December 2017, he declared withdrawal from the coalition with the Houthis and instead sided with his former enemies – Saudi Arabia and president Hadi. However, he was killed by a Houthi sniper while attempting to flee the capital city of Sana'a amidst the ongoing battle on 4 December 2017. The Houthis said that it was the United Arab Emirates that dragged Saleh to "this humiliating fate." Wikipedia