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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