Yemen FM urges ‘quick Arab intervention’ against Houthi militants

Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin calls for Arab military intervention in Yemen ‘as soon as possible.

Yemen’s foreign minister, Riyadh Yassin, urged a quick Arab political and military intervention in Yemen after Shia Houthi militants attacked the southern city of Aden on Wednesday in a bid to control it.

According to Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA, Yassin warned against the threats facing the security of Yemen after meeting Arab League secretary-general Nabil El-Arabi in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

“We agreed on holding a meeting on Thursday about the situation in Yemen on the sidelines of the Arab League summit,” Yassin told reporters.

Yemen’s top diplomat pointed out that the Arab military intervention should occur “as soon as possible.”

The Arab League chief showed understanding to our demand, said Yassin.

Arab heads of states are expected to gather at Sharm El-Sheikh to attend the Arab League summit on March 28 and 29.

Various news agencies had reported on Wednesday morning that Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled Aden with members of the Saudi diplomatic mission in the country as Houthi militias close in on the city.

Yemen’s defence minister Major-General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi has been arrested in Aden by advancing Shia Houthi militants, news agencies also reported.

Sources in the presidential guard also confirmed to AFP that Hadi left Aden by helicopter, accompanied by diplomats from Saudi Arabia, from the Maasheeq presidential palace.

However, other presidential sources – speaking to the independent Yemen Today news website – denied that Hadi fled Aden.

Hadi, according to these sources, is still leading the armed resistance against the Shia militants.

Meanwhile, Houthi rebels offered 20 million Yemeni rial ($100,000) as a bounty for capture of Hadi, reported Yemen television in the Shia-controlled capital of Sanaa.