Just as the international community started to believe that truly president Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen had more lives and do-overs than most autocrats in the region, his surprise return did away with the little legitimacy and support he had left.
Despite promising in his address to the nation that he was coming bearing "the olive branch and the doves of peace", Yemenis did not wait long for the sounds of gun fires to resound across the country, destroying the slim hope of a peaceful transition of power.
In the wake of Saleh's return, Yemen saw its bloodiest week yet, with more than 130 deaths and hundreds upon hundreds of injuries. And if the capital was bled dry, stunned by the levels of atrocities and the scenes of massacre, Taiz, another flashpoint of the revolution, was turned to rubbles as the government forces were ordered to shell the town relentlessly, determined to destroy the tenacious revolutionary sentiment of this proud southern Yemeni town.
After 9 months of unfulfilled promises and last minute changes, the international community decided it was high time to play president Saleh a different tune. And indeed the tune changed; tired of the political stalemate European countries agreed that Yemen needed to be discussed in the U.N. Security Council and that a resolution needed to be decided upon immediately.
With little to no international support, a failing regime and the threat of an armed conflict what options are left to the ailing Yemeni dictator?
As many political analysts pointed out, the fact that president Saleh had to leave for Riyadh the capital of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to receive medical treatment following a bomb attack on his compound, somewhat protected his presidency, making it difficult for the revolutionaries to force him out of power.
With his vice-president, Hadi, seemingly in charge of the running of the affairs of the state, Saleh was able to wait it out, hoping that with time the revolution will dwindled away.
But since he decided to come back as promised in his Eid al Fitr speech, president Saleh has been running into more problems that he probably can chew.
For a start, his return sparked new waves of protests with yet more people joining the fight against the state apparatus as they started to see the first cracks into Saleh's dictatorship.
In "Change Square", the capital main revolution's rallying point, revolutionaries found a new breath of life with the victory of new Nobel Peace Prize Tawakkul Karman. Suddenly a nation which so far had only dared to dream was starting to believe in its abilities to change things.
And if the country is living through its worst bout of violence in months with the death of hundreds of revolutionaries nationwide in the past weeks alone; Yemenis are saying that night is at its darkest before dawn.
"He can shoot us, he can kill us, but he cannot stop us, because Yemenis will not stop until he is gone, until they are gone, until we are all free", said a passionate Youth protester in Taiz, another main flashpoints of the revolution.
If president Saleh is losing the battle for power in the streets of Yemen, the latest political developments are showing that he is as well losing out to his opponents in the political arena.
And indeed, after having promised time and time again that he would consider, sign, ratify and what not the GCC brokered proposal enouncing Yemen's power transfer, president Saleh has always debunked at the last minute, invoking various reasons or excuses.
Even Jamal Benomar, the U.N envoy to Yemen in charge of negotiating a political solution to Yemen's deepening political crisis admitted defeat after a 2 weeks-negotiation marathon with the regime and the Opposition, declaring that Saleh was not serious about stepping down.
Saleh's most staunched allies in the Arab world started as well to wonder whether the autocrat was worth the amount of troubles he was bringing in his wake. Only last week, just as the Europeans announced that they were moving Yemen's files to the U.N Security Council to have a resolution issued against president Saleh's regime, the KSA and the UAE refused to see Yemen's foreign minister al-Qirbi, signaling a change of policy.
A few days ago, Hillary Clinton, the American Secretary of State told the press that it was time for Saleh to go, adding that he had lost all legitimacy as president of Yemen.
After 9 months of clever stalling and political maneuvering it appears that president Saleh is running out of options. Even his last bid at modifying the GCC agreement failed miserably, as Benomar refused to even consider the changes. Saleh wanted to be allowed to remain president of Yemen until the end of his mandate in 2013.
The Supreme Military Council or Saleh's Folly
Since the regime is losing out on the political front, Saleh is believed to have come up with a "chilling" military plan.
According to a high ranking Yemeni diplomat, Saleh and his close family members would have hatched a plan which if successful would ensure Saleh' stay in power until 2013, or at least guarantee that his 2 nemesis, defected General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and Sheikh Sadeeq al-Ahmar will not fulfill their presidential ambitions.
The diplomat claims that Saleh is planning to set up a Supreme Military Council in the next coming days, nominating one supreme commander of all the government forces, whose main task will be to wipe out the Opposition.
Now that Saleh has geared up his army with yet more heavy weapons and fresh recruits, he is said to be ready for a military confrontation.
The plan would not only include an attack of Yemen's main revolutionaries' encampments nationwide, but also the annihilation of all al-Ahmar's business interests and properties in Yemen.
However, since the Opposition and more specifically General Mohsen and Sheikh Sadeeq al-Ahmar have also been preparing, the confrontation will be fierce and deadly.
With the clock ticking on Saleh's dictatorship, a military intervention is likely to be the only option left to the ailing autocrat.
And as protesters are planning today to march through the towns and villages of Yemen, it might happen sooner rather than later.