Yemen's main airport closed after attack
Yemen's transition to life without President Ali Abdullah Saleh is not going smoothly.
The military is restructuring its command, largely to rid itself of cronies and relatives loyal to the former president. Several have already lost their jobs and one of them - former air force chief Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar - took his demotion very personally and has attacked the airport in Sanaa.
Al-Ahmar, the half-brother of the former president, was given a new position as assistant to the minister of defense in Friday's presidential decree, but has refused to leave his air force post.
The officials said he threatened to cause chaos if three opposition military officials are not removed from their military posts along with him.
The airport was not allowing flights to arrive or depart the country due to the tension, according to security officials at the airport who wished to remain anonymous.
Friday's shakeup was announced in a statement by a spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington and attributed to current President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.
"President Hadi promised major change in the military, and tonight that promise was delivered," said Mohammed Albasha, the embassy spokesman.
"This is the biggest military shakeup in modern Yemen history."
Another of the sacked Salehs was the former president's nephew, Tareq Saleh, who had been head of the presidential guard.
Two prominent members of Ali Saleh's family remained in powerful military posts however after Friday's shakeup.
They are Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is the former president's son and head of the Republican Guard, and Brig. Gen. Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, the former president's nephew and head of Central Security Forces.
Minutes after the military decrees were announced, a senior opposition leader's residence was heavily shelled.
The opposition has refused to take part in a national dialogue to form a new government until Saleh's cronies are removed from their positions. This latest incident won't help the government in deciding to go all the way and challenge the head of the Guards and police by removing them. In fact, Hadi, a former crony of Saleh himself, might slow down reforms even more until the situation ripens. The protests aren't going to stop anytime soon and eventually, the son and nephew of the former president might see the writing on the wall and agree to step down.