A Yemeni army commander says Shiite Houthi rebels have seized the presidential palace in the capital, Sanaa, a move he described as a “coup.”
Col. Saleh al-Jamalani, the commander of the Presidential Protection Force that guards embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, says the rebels swept into the presidential palace on Tuesday afternoon.
He told The Associated Press that the rebels were aided by insiders and are looting arm depots on the palace grounds.
“This is a coup. There is no other word to describe what is happening but a coup,” al-Jamalani told Associated Press, adding that the rebels were likely aided by insiders.
The dramatic development put the U.S.-backed Hadi into a precarious position and represented the starkest challenge to his authority since the Houthis swept into Sanaa from their northern stronghold and seized the capital in September.