Abdul Salam Ali Jaber in Saudi
Abdul Salam Ali Jaber at a press conference in Saudi Arabia Image Credit: Screengrab

Dubai: Abdul Salam Jaber, a former Al Houthi Minister who defected to the Saudi-led Arab coalition, had the shock of his life when a reporter hurled a shoe at him as he was speaking at a press conference.

The conference, covered live by most Arab news channels, was held on Sunday inside the Yemeni embassy in Riyadh, where he declared his defection from Al Houthis.

Before throwing a shoe at Al Jaber, the still-unidentified reporter hurled invectives at the defector, apparently to express his anger on behalf of the Yemeni people towards Jaber and the Iranians, who support Al Houthis.

The shoe hit Al Jaber after he admitted being a member of Al Houthi's media machine, and that he had carried a misleading campaign against the Yemenis and the world.

“Al Houthis have a massive media machine and an electronic army that extends across the region,” Jaber told the media, without giving details.

Jaber said his moves under Al Houthis were made under duress: “We were forced to work with the coup-led government.”

It was not immediately clear what happened next to the reporter.

A similar incident took place on December 14, 2008, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaidi threw both of his shoes at United States President George W. Bush during an Iraqi press conference. Bush ducked, avoiding being hit by either of the shoes.

The second shoe hit the US flag, and Al-Zaidi was subsequently hurried out of the room by guards.