Sanaa, Yemen – A large group of Shiite rebels stormed the presidential palace in Yemen, and took control of it. Yemen’s top military officials described the situation as a coup, designed to overthrow the current authority of the country. The successful attack could mean a change in leadership for a country that has played a pivotal role in the United States’ war on terrorism in the Middle East. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi managed to escape the conflict unharmed, but his authority over the country looks to be in a checkmate.
Yemeni Shiite Rebels Storm Presidential Palace And Take Control
The Shiite struggle to control Yemen is not a new development, but today’s actions are the closest the group has come to ruling the country as a whole. Since September 2014 the Shiite militants, known as Houthis, have been capturing smaller cities within Yemen and taking effective control over them. Unlike other militant groups in the Middle East, Houthis does not pose as big of a threat as ISIS but it does disrupt US relations with the country.
The Houthis appear to have genuine intent behind their seize of power in Yemen, but their actions make it very difficult for US intelligence to monitor the Al-Qaeda cells operating within the country’s borders. The specific Al-Qaeda group in Yemen is the same one that has been claiming responsibility for the Paris and Belgium attacks.
Yemen’s current government and military, who do not back the Houthis rebels, describe the conflict as a coup. Rather than attempting to win control of the government in later elections, these Shiite fighters are choosing to take control by force. They plan to establish a new constitution and reform the country’s current legislative and judicial systems. These rebels do not claim any association with ISIS or Al-Qaeda, and operate solely on their own terms.
Yemeni Shiite Rebels Storm Presidential Palace And Take Control.