Yemen’s Shiite Rebels Announce Takeover of Country


Originally posted on TIME:

(SANAA, Yemen) — Yemen’s powerful Shiite rebels announced on Friday that they have taken over the country and dissolved parliament, a dramatic move that finalizes their months-long power grab.

The development also plunges the impoverished country deeper into turmoil and threatens to turn the crisis into a full-blown sectarian conflict, pitting the Iran-backed Houthi Shiites against Sunni tribesmen and secessionists in the south.

It could also play into the hands of Yemen’s al-Qaida branch, the world’s most dangerous offshoot of the terror group, and jeopardize the U.S. counter-terrorism operations in the country.

In a televised announcement from the Republican Palace in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, the Houthi rebels said they are forming a five-member presidential council that will replace President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi for an interim two-year period.

The Houthis also said that “Revolutionary Committee” would be in charge of forming a new parliament with 551 members. The…

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Yemen’s President Resigns as Capital Remains in Hands of Rebels


Originally posted on TIME:

Yemen’s embattled President reportedly relinquished power on Thursday amid ongoing turmoil in Sana‘a, the capital, leaving the fate of the highly fractured country unclear.

The Associated Press and Reuters each reported President Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s resignation, citing unnamed Yemeni officials. Shi‘ite rebels known as the Houthis had held the city since September while allowing Hadi to remain in his post, but the collapse of negotiations this week prompted violent clashes and led to the seizure of the presidential palace by the Houthis, and Thursday’s reported resignation.

The Yemeni Cabinet also resigned on Thursday as the government’s standoff with the Houthis showed no sign of letting up, despite indications on Wednesday of a deal to accelerate power-sharing reforms. The Houthis now appear to be pulling the strings in Sana‘a.

The turmoil in the capital threatens to further divide the impoverished country, where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of…

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