Arab League to discuss military action in Yemen

Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassin calls for 'urgent' military intervention ahead of Arab summit

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Arab Foreign ministers will discuss on Friday a Yemeni request for military intervention against the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels, Ahmed Ben Heli, the Arab League’s deputy secretary general said.

Ben Heli said Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassin had asked the Arab League to intervene militarily to stop the Houthi advance and the organization will discuss the matter on Friday.

Depicting the Houthis as a proxy of Shiite Iran, a rival to Sunni Gulf countries, Yassin warned of Iranian “takeover” of Yemen. The Houthis deny they are backed by Iran.

Yassin denied reports that President Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi had left Aden as Houthi rebels advanced on the city, where the president was taking refuge after fleeing the capital Sanaa.

A warplane on Wednesday targeted a district in Aden housing the presidential compound, a presidential security official told AFP.

The aircraft “fired three missiles at the presidential complex, which were met by the air defence” systems, official said.

Witnesses said that plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the area around Hadi's complex in the southern port city.

Yemen's state television broadcaster, controlled by Houthis, made an offer of nearly $100,000 for Hadi's capture. Officials meanwhile said that the country's Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mahmoud al-Subaihi and his top aide were arrested in the southern city of Lahj, where fighting with Houthi forces was ongoing, before they were transferred to Sanaa.

[With agencies]

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