Yemen Houthi rebels (who are backed by Iran) have captured the presidential palace and much of Aden, which is the city ousted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled from last month.
Yemen’s Shiite rebels and their allies fought their way through the commercial center of Aden on Thursday and seized the presidential palace on a strategic hilltop in this southern coastal city, security officials said.
The capture was a major blow to the Saudi-led coalition, which has been carrying out airstrikes for a week now across Yemen, including in the capital, Sanaa, in a campaign meant to halt the advance of the Iran-backed rebels known as Houthis.
Reuters is reporting that armed men have landed by sea, although their identity is unclear.
Hours after the Houthis took over Aden’s central Crater neighborhood, including the presidential palace, unidentified armed men arrived by sea in an area of the port city which the Iran-allied Shi’ite fighters have yet to reach.
A Yemeni official denied that ground troops had landed in Aden and a port official said they were armed guards who had disembarked from a Chinese ship trying to bring aid or evacuate civilians.
The Saudi ambassador told the United States that Saudi Arabia does not have “formal” troops on the ground in Aden, Yemen, but sending them remains a possibility.