The head of state ordered troops under his control to launch an attack on Sana'a with the support of the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
"The Houthis were exerting pressure on them to change their coverage, to issue certain statements and report the betrayal of former president Saleh".
The intervention by Ahmed Ali, a former leader of the elite Republican Guard once seen as a successor to his father, provided the anti-Houthi movement with a potential figurehead after a week of fighting that saw the Houthis rout Saleh's supporters.
Yemen is now plunged into uncertainty, and much depends on the future allegiance of his loyalists who were siding with the Houthis until Saturday.
The fragile alliance pitched them against the Saudi-led coalition backing President Hadi.
"This hostage-taking is typical of the climate of hostility in Yemen towards journalists, who are often targeted in this conflict", said RSF's Alexandra El Khazen.
The UAE is a key member of the mostly Gulf Arab alliance that sees the Houthis as a proxy of their arch-enemy Iran but had struggled to make gains against the Houthi-Saleh alliance despite thousands of air strikes backed by USA and Western arms and intelligence.
"The plot hatched by (the United Arab) Emirates and Saudi Arabia to let Ali Abdullah Saleh stab (Yemeni) fighters and people in the back failed and he (Saleh) suffered the consequences of his actions", Velayati said Tuesday, answering a question about the recent developments in Yemen.
However, in late November, the tensions between the former allies escalated and resulted in clashes that have already claimed lives of hundreds of people, including the ex-president himself. The country is now facing what the United Nations has described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Saleh , who ruled in Sanaa from 1978-2012, had a wide following in Yemen, including army officers and armed tribal leaders who once served under him. He called for his father's backers to "take back Yemen from the Iranian Houthi militias".