Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar

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Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar
Native name علي محسن الأحمر
Born (1945-06-20) June 20, 1945 (age 69)
Sanhan, Sana'a Governorate, Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen
Allegiance  Yemen
Service/branch Yemen Army
Rank Major General
Unit 1st Armored Division
Commands held North-Western Military District
1st Armored Division[1]
Battles/wars 1994 civil war in Yemen
2011 Yemeni revolution
Relations Ali Abdullah Saleh (Distant cousin)[2]

Ali Mohsen Saleh al-Ahmar sometimes spelled "Muhsin" (Arabic: علي محسن صالح الأحمر‎) (20 June 1945 -), is a major general and a business tycoon in Yemen.[3] Born in Sanhan, a southeastern suburb of Sana'a and is a distant cousin of Ali Abdullah Saleh.[4] Ali Mohsen was the commander of the northwestern military district and the 1st Armoured Division. He played a leading role in the creation of the Islamist Islah paty with considerable financial backing from Saudi Arabia.[5]

Mohsen is known to have Salafi leanings and to support a more radical Islamic political agenda than Ali Abdullah Saleh. He has powerful Wahhabi supporters in Saudi Arabia and has aided the Saudis in establishing Wahhabi institutions in the Zaydi heartland,[6] creating internal tension.[7] He is believed by the United States to have been behind the formation of the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army.[8] He recruited Salafis and al-Qaeda sympathizers directly into the fight against the Zaydi Houthi rebels.[9] According to ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski, Mohsen was a major beneficiary of diesel smuggling, and have amassed a fortune in the smuggling of arms, food staples and consumer products. Together with Sheikh Abdullah al Ahmar's sons and Ali Abdullah Saleh, were making millions working the diesel smuggling and black market, using military vehicles and National Security Bureau and Central Security Organization staff to move the fuel to markets in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.[10]

Relations between Saleh and Mohsen had reportedly soured years before the uprising due to his rivalries with two of the president's sons. This souring of relations led to an apparent attempt by the President Saleh to kill Mohsen by asking Saudi Arabian military commanders to bomb an alleged rebel base which was in fact Mohsen's HQ.[11]On March 21, 2011, al-Ahmar said he would protect the anti-government Yemeni protesters, along with other top Yemeni army commanders, in a move that was later condemned as 'mutinous' by President Saleh.[12] On December 19, 2012, al-Ahmar was effectively fired from his position by President Hadi as part of Hadi's efforts to restructure the military and remove the political and military elite remnant from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule. The forces previously under al-Ahmar's command, most notably the First Armoured Division, will be absorbed into the Defence Ministry.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yemen Order of Battle | American Enterprise Institute Critical Threats Project
  2. ^ Sarah Phillips (2008). Yemen's Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 52. ISBN 9780230616486. 
  3. ^ "'Rebel' General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, Yemen's back-up ruler after Saleh". The National. 24 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Sarah Phillips (2008). Yemen's Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 52. ISBN 9780230616486. 
  5. ^ Sarah Phillips (2008). Yemen's Democracy Experiment in Regional Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 137. ISBN 9780230616486. 
  6. ^ Barak A. Salmoni, Bryce Loidolt, Madeleine Wells (2010). Regime and Periphery in Northern Yemen The Huthi Phenomenon. RAND Corporation. p. 93. ISBN 9780833049339. 
  7. ^ Fawaz A. Gerges (2013). The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World. Cambridge University Press. p. 374. ISBN 9781107470576. 
  8. ^ Mark Rice-Oxley (21 March 2011). "WikiLeaks cable links defecting Yemeni general to smuggling rackets". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Barak A. Salmoni, Bryce Loidolt, Madeleine Wells (2010). Regime and Periphery in Northern Yemen The Huthi Phenomenon. RAND Corporation. p. 162. ISBN 9780833049339. 
  10. ^ Mark Rice-Oxley (21 March 2011). "WikiLeaks cable links defecting Yemeni general to smuggling rackets". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "WikiLeaks: Yemen tricked Saudis into nearly bombing president's rival". The Guardian. 8 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Top Yemeni general, Ali Mohsen, backs opposition". BBC News. 21 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Jamjoom, Mohammed and Almasmari, Hakim. "Yemen's president restructures armed forces". CNN. Retrieved 24 February 2013.