A few minutes ago (6:16 AM Eastern Time) the BBC reported:
President Ali Abdullah Saleh has left Yemen a day after being injured when his presidential compound in Sanaa came under attack, reports say.
Sources in the government told the BBC that he had been flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment, but it is not clear whether he has gone there for good.
The prime minister and four other senior officials were also flown out.
The president has not appeared in public since Friday, but he broadcast an audio message saying he was well.
I am not yet seeing confirmation from other sources. About an hour ago Al Jazeera, apparently depending on Reuters, reported:
Several top Yemeni officials injured in an attack on the presidential palace on Friday have been flown to neighbouring Saudi Arabia for treatment, a medical source said on Saturday.
The speakers of both houses of parliament, the deputy prime minister and other officials were evacuated, the source said without offering details on the conditions of the officials.
The most recent report from the Associated Press does not mention Saleh’s departure and is still being treated as breaking news by several European media. The AP says:
Five top members of the government were sent to Saudi Arabia for treatment of wounds they suffered in a rebel rocket attack on the presidential palace, the official government news agency reported Saturday. President Ali Abdullah Saleh was slightly injured.
At 6:43 Eastern Time the BBC is reporting that other Yemeni government officials are denying the President has left the country. I will go to breakfast and give you an update after some oatmeal.
About 90 minutes after the initial BBC report, there seems to be growing confidence that President Saleh has NOT left Sanaa and, in the words of a Saudi official, “has no intention of leaving.” At around 7:00 AM Eastern Time the Telegraph is flatly reporting, “President Ali Abdullah Saleh suffered head injuries but was not among those sent to Saudi Arabia.”
SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Twelve hours on from the initial posts above, Al Jazeera is reporting, Saleh ‘to seek medical care in Saudi Arabia’. Reuters, AP, The Telegraph and other outlets all have similar stories. As of 4:00 PM Eastern Time every credible report I am finding is still using the future tense for the trip to Saudi Arabia (and the BBC is being especially careful).
Several reports indicate that Friday’s attack on Saleh and others left the Yemeni President with shrapnel near his heart.
At 4:35 PM Eastern Time Reuters is reporting, “Saudi Arabia brokered a fresh truce in Yemen on Saturday and a Riyadh government source said President Ali Abdullah Saleh was expected to leave the country within hours for medical treatment. ‘Saleh is expected to come to Saudi Arabia tonight for treatment for neck and chest wounds,’ the source in Riyadh, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.” At roughly the same time as the Reuters report, the online New York Times headlined its lead story as “Yemeni Leader Agrees to Go to Saudi Arabia for Treatment.”
SATURDAY EVENING UPDATE: As of 8:00 PM several media sources are now reporting President Saleh is in Riyadh. See Al Jazeera, BBC, and New York Times. Power has been transferred to the Yemeni Vice President.
For more context please see a late Friday report by Deutsche Welle: Yemeni rivals accuse each other of profiting from al Qaeda threat. Additional background is available from the Council on Foreign Relations.
As far as I know, John Brennan is still in the region. He was in Saudi Arabia and UAE on Thursday and Friday.