Yemen asks GCC for military action against Houthis
Saudi foreign minister asks Houthis to end coup or face “measures”
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has asked the GCC to intervene militarily against the Houthi rebels, Foreign Minister Riad Yassin told Al Arabiya Channel’s sister station Al Hadath on Monday.
In the interview, Yassin warned that the ongoing conflict was affecting the whole nation, noting that the Houthis rebels were attempting to scupper the proposed peace talks in Riyadh.
“Yemeni authorities are working with the Gulf Cooperation Council and the [U.N.] Security Council to put an end to the Houthi expansion,” he said, noting that Hadi had asked the United Nations and the GCC’s Peninsula Shield Force to “intervene to face the Houthis.”
“GCC states are considering this request,” he added.
He also revealed that Yemen had put forward a request to the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone at airports controlled by the Shiite rebel force.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Saudi al-Faisal said: “The Houthi coup threatens the security and stability of Yemen, the region and the world,” warning that “if the Houthi coup does not end peacefully, we will take the necessary measures for this crisis to protect the region.”
The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain – warned earlier this year that they would act to protect the Arabian Peninsula’s security and described the Houthi takeover of parts of Yemen as a "terrorist" act.
The call for intervention comes days ahead of an Arab Summit in Egypt. It’s unclear whether Hadi will be able to leave Yemen in order to attend.
The Houthis seized control of the capital Sanaa last September, along with several northern provinces. Hadi, who fled from house arrest in Sanaa last month, has set up a power base in the port city of Aden.
The international community still views Hadi as the country’s legitimate leader and the U.N. Security Council has sanctioned the two top Houthi leaders and Saleh.
The Houthis and supporters of Saleh have captured much of the third largest city of Taiz, as well as its airport, and are advancing toward the south.