|Native name علي محسن الأحمر|
Unit 1st Armoured Division
Siblings Ali Abdullah Saleh
Rank Lieutenant General
Service/branch Military of Yemen
|Years of service 1966-2012|
Role Military officer
Name Ali al-Ahmar
|Born June 20, 1945 (age 70)Sanhan, Sana'a Governorate, Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (1945-06-20) |
Commands held North-Western Military District 2011-20121st Armoured Division 1987-2011
Nephews Ahmed Saleh, Madeen Ali Abdullah Saleh
Battles and wars Yemeni Civil War, Houthi insurgency in Yemen, Yemeni Revolution, Houthi takeover in Yemen
Similar People Ali Abdullah Saleh, Hamid al‑Ahmar, Ahmed Saleh, Abd Rabbuh Mansur H, Sadiq al‑Ahmar
Ali Mohsen Saleh al-Ahmar (Arabic: علي محسن صالح الأحمر), sometimes spelled "Muhsin", (born 20 June 1945) is a general of the Yemeni army and was the commander of the northwestern military district and the 1st Armoured Division. He played a leading role in the creation of the General People's Congress. Mohsen has a good relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
- Early life
- Political and military career
- Business ventures
- 2011 uprising
- 2014 Sanaa coup dtat
- Rumored exile
- 2015 Yemeni Civil War
He was appointed as a Deputy Supreme Commander of Yemeni Armed Forces on February 22, 2016. "Yemen's Hadi appoints top general in bid to rally tribes". After that president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has appointed him a Vice President of Yemen on April 3, 2016. This assignment made a big controversy between objectors and supporters, but most of them considered it a strong message from President Hadi and the Arab Coalition Forces for the intention to use the Military option to regain control of the Capital because of the flexible and strong relation between Mohsen with figures from the tribes surrounding the Capital Sana'a as well as some military commander who will be loyal to the side of legitimacy because of this assignment.
Born in Sanhan, a southeastern suburb of Sana'a, and he got his primary and secondary education there, he is not a member of the al-Ahmar immediate ruling family of the Hashid tribe. He joined the army to the 4th Military company in 1961. He was promoted as a first lieutenant in the Mechanized forces of the Republican Guard in 1968, and participated in the North Yemen Civil War, fighting on the Republican side. Then he joined Yemen Military Academy in 1971, and got his bachelor's degree in 1974. After his graduation from Yemen Military Academy he got promoted as a captain. He joined Al-Tholaya Institute in Taiz and got a certificate of Battalions Leadership. He got his PhD from Nasser Military Academy-Cairoin 1986. He continued to get promotions until he became a major general in 2007, before the presidential decree issued by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Had to promote him as Lieutenant Colonel and appoint him a Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces on February 22, 2016 .
Mohsen is known to have Salafi leanings and to support a more radical Islamic political agenda than Ali Abdullah Saleh. He has powerful supporters in Saudi Arabia and has aided the Saudis in establishing Wahhabi institutions in the Zaydi heartland, creating internal tension.
Political and military career
He started his military career in Al-Maghawir Brigade, as a leader of an infantry company in 1970, then he joined the 1st Armored Brigade and became a commander of a tank company in 1975, he was a commander of an independent 4th Tank battalion in 1977.
He was close to Saleh since 1973, and when the latter seized power in 1978, Mohsen was promoted to full colonel in 1979 and given command of an Armoured Brigade. In 1983 he became Chief of Staff of the 1st Armoured Division, as well as the command of the 1st Brigade of the1stArmored Division. He became a commander of North-Western Military District on 8 January 1995. On 22 January 2001 he was appointed as a commander of 1st Armoured Division and North-Western Military District. Then he became a President's Advisor for Defence and Security Affairs on 10 April 2013.
In 2004 the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh assigned him to lead the military operations against the Houthi militia. He served as a chief of the Local Council for Cooperative Development of Sanhan Directorate – Sana'a Governorate in 1975, for three sessions each one was a period of three years. In 1980 he was a member of the committee of National Dialogue that drafted the National Covenant which was considered the universal document for all political components that subject to General People's Congress party.
In 1980 Al-Ahmar participated in establishing the General People's Congress party, chaired by the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and he was a member of the Standing Committee of GPC for three consecutive sessions from 1980 to 1989, then he became a member of the Defense Committee of GPC party.
Mohsen was a primary and effective member of the preparing committee for the unity during the negotiation process, then he participated in the integration and restructuring the Armed Forces of Yemen after the unity. He was assigned as a Deputy Chief of joint Yemeni-Saudi Military Committee for addressing the security and militarism balances between the two countries, and resolving the border issues.
Aden-Abyan Army: He coordinated with Al Qaeda to build Aden Abyan Army to invade the west.
According to ambassador Thomas C. Krajeski, Mohsen was a major beneficiary of diesel smuggling, and 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. This accusations are absolutely denied by Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar "the favoritism and the smugglings operations was a common defect in the army units and the decision to fight that was under the authority of President Saleh" Al-Ahmar pointed out.
The massacre of (Friday of Dignity) occurred in the Square of Change in Sana'a which was the Square for the protesters against Ali Abdullah Saleh. After the demonstrators had finished Juma prayer, masked gunmen began shooting at them for more than three hours. They killed about 45 demonstrator and wounded about 200, according to Human Rights watch the number of death toll may reach54 by adding dead on the following days under the injury effects. According to statement of the accusation from the Public Prosecution "43 protester were killed and about 127 injured". All dead and about 40 from the injuries have been shot on the heads, chest and other parts of upper body by semi-automatic weapons which were described by medical officials, lawyers and protesters as a job of skilled snipers.
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 President Saleh to kill Mohsen by asking Saudi Arabian military commanders to bomb an alleged rebel base which was in fact Mohsen's HQ. 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. 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.
2014 Sana'a coup d'état
On September 16, armed clashes broke out in northwest Sana'a between the Houthi militia and some army units loyal to al-Ahmar. After four days of fighting, al-Ahmar moved toward the headquarters of Military Region VI (the previous First Armored Division, which Ahmar used to lead before he was dismissed and appointed to be adviser to the president for defense and security affairs in 2012). He did not comply with the president's and defense minister's directives and he led the battles against the Houthis himself, in what was seen as a possible coup attempt. Al-Ahmar did not achieve any victories, and in two days the Houthis were in control of most major government buildings in Sana'a, including the buildings of state television, state radio, the prime minister's office, the armed forces general command, the Ministry of Defense, the Central Bank of Yemen and Military Region VI.
Following the Houthi takeover of the Yemeni capital Sana'a, it was rumored that Sadiq al-Ahmar, members of the al-Ahmar family and Hashid tribal elders fled Yemen to Saudi Arabia or Qatar. Al-Ahmar was also believed to have sought refuge in either Saudi Arabia or Qatar but recently noticed that Saudi Embassy in Sana'a prepared a helicopter and coordinated for his departure to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the Houthi ascension to power His absence has seen his homes in the Hadda neighborhood of Sana'a seized by Houthi fighters.
2015 Yemeni Civil War
After he left Yemen as a result of the Houthi takeover, Al-Ahmar returned to Yemen to lead the military operation in Yemen's northern province of Hajja in December 2015. Since he was appointed Vice President, he played an important role in activating the fighting fronts against the Houthi & Saleh, as well as supervising many battles including Marib, Midi, Taiz and Shabwah.
He also played an effective role in the battle of expelling Al-Qaeda from Hadramout province.
Mohsen focused on intensive meetings with a large number of Ambassadors led by the ambassadors of USA, UK and the ten sponsor countries of the Gulf Initiative, followed by his successive statements that support the peace talks held in Kuwait, April 2016.