But that alliance unravelled over the past week as the former leader reached out to the Saudi-led coalition that has waged an air campaign against the Houthis since March 2015.
Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, a rebel leader, said in a speech Tuesday that "some sons" of Saleh have been hospitalized, without providing further details.
Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari on Tuesday as saying that Saudi Arabia, "on behalf of the US and the Zionist regime (Israel), has a very important role in creating insecurity" in the Middle East.
Sanders reiterated the Trump administration's general support for the Saudi-led coalition, and condemned Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for "aggression and blatant violations of worldwide law" in Yemen.
The protest took place outside a rebel-run hospital where the body has been kept since he was killed on Monday by his onetime allies, the Iran-backed Shiite rebels known as Houthis.
A video provided to AFP by the rebels showed what appeared to be a dead Saleh with a severe head injury, his body wrapped in a floral-print blanket.
At least 234 people have been killed and more than 400 wounded in fighting in Sanaa since the beginning of the month, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday.
Some 41 Yemeni journalists have been held captive by Houthi fighters at the television station in Sana'a, Al Jazeera reported today.
The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the armed Houthi movement in Yemen's civil war started a blockade of ports a month ago after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired toward its capital Riyadh from Yemen.
But with Saleh's forces seemingly in disarray, it was not immediately clear if the Saudi-led coalition would be able to turn the split to its advantage.
The analyst also warned that if Arabs do not unite, it will not be unusual to soon witness the effects of Iranian intervention, such as the emerging of sectarian conflicts, ethnic wars, and total destruction in other Arab countries.
Saleh's slaying likely gives the rebels the upper hand in the dayslong fighting for the country's capital, Sanaa.
Worldwide aid groups warned today they were losing the ability to reach civilians in Sanaa. That helped propel Yemen into the ruinous civil war that has spread hunger and disease among its 28 million people.
Jamie McGoldrick, of United Nations aid agency OCHA, said civilians in Sanaa are "emerging from their houses after five days being locked down, basically prisoners", to seek safety, medical care, fresh water and other survival needs.