Yemen's Saleh in Saudi Arabia for 'medical treatment'
Yesterday's speculation regarding the whereabouts of Yemen's President Saleh has proven to be true.
Sources now confirm the injured dictator traveled to Saudi Arabia to get medical treatment for wounds suffered on Friday when the palance was attacked by mortars.
Jubilant protestors poured into the streets believing that this was the end of Saleh's rule. Indeed, there are some analysts who believe that this could be a face saving way for Saleh to exit.
But most of Saleh's power structure is still in place in Yemen, giving rise to the notion that he will try and re-enter the country and assume power again.
Some Yemenis celebrated what they hoped would be Saleh's permanent departure, but the jubilation was mixed with firefights and explosions in Sanaa, and gunbattles broke out in the city of Taiz, about 200 km (124 miles) south of the capital.
"People are worried about what will happen after Saleh's departure. They're most worried about a military coup or struggles for power within the army," Farouq Abdel Salam, a resident in the southern port city of Aden, said.
Acting President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi met military commanders, including Saleh's powerful sons and nephews, who remain in Yemen. Hadi also met the U.S. ambassador.
The probability of a military takeover is very high. Could it lead to a transition to democracy as is supposedly happening in Egypt? There may be less incentive for the military to seize power temporarily as they have done after Mubarak fell. Democracy is not the number one priority of Yemen's government; it is retaking control of its own territory and avoiding economic collapse. Yemen is in much worse shape than Egypt was, and tribal tensions may lead to a multi-sided civil war anyway.