“Yemen’s powerful Shiite Houthi rebels shelled the residence of the country’s embattled president Tuesday and simultaneously swept into the presidential palace in the capital, Sanaa, as a top military commander warned that a full-fledged “coup” was underway. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was inside the residence as it came under “heavy shelling” for half an hour but he was unharmed and protected by guards, officials said. In New York, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting over the chaos in Sanaa. The shelling was a dramatic development that put the U.S.-backed Hadi into a precarious position and represented the starkest challenge to his authority…………”
As of now it is not clear what is exactly happening in Sana’a, except that there is some fighting around the presidential palace today. It has been a relatively wild country outside Sana’a and Aden and a few other larger towns. Regime officials claim today that there is a Houthi coup, the Houthis claim they were attacked first by the ‘other side’.
The Houthis have controlled the capital for several months, although Al-Qaeda and some other tribal groups have tried to challenge their hold and slow their recent expansion south. They are depicted by most Arab and Western media as a wild tribal group from the wild north (of North Yemen). Some are also beginning to stress their new reported ties to the Iranian regime, a fact that worries the Saudis next door since they fought and lost a little war with the Houthis a few years ago.
The regime of Generalissimo Abd Rabu (Worshiper of His God) Hadi, which is just a continuation of every other Yemeni regime since 1962, is as corrupt as any in Yemeni history. Probably more because he has been even more beholden to the Al Ahmar tribal military oligarchs. The regime has completely failed to stem Al-Qaeda to the south in recent years. In fairness, nor has the American drone bombing campaign. The Houthis, who also mostly fight Al-Qaeda, started a surge that was too much for the regime and their Salafi foes, given that much of the military refused to fight them.
The wild looting of some leaders palaces also exposed the degree of corruption in that very poor country. The UN Security Council is reported meeting today in emergency on Yemen. Not sure what they can do. Maybe they will slap new sanctions on everybody. It will not mean much to anybody inside Yemen.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum