Officials say Shiite rebels seize Yemen’s third largest city and its airport | Fox News
Members of a militia group loyal to Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, known as the Popular Committees, chew qat, Yemen’s favorite drug, as they sit next to their tank, guarding a major intersection in Aden, Yemen, Saturday, March 21, 2015. Yemen’s Shiite rebels issued a call to arms Saturday to battle forces loyal to the embattled President Hadi, as U.S. troops evacuated a southern air base over al-Qaida militants seizing a nearby city, authorities said. (AP Photo/Hamza Hendawi) (The Associated Press)
ADEN, Yemen – Yemeni security and military officials say Shiite rebels backed by supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh have taken over the country’s third largest city of Taiz and its airport.
The seizure on Sunday comes a day after the rebels, known as Houthis, called for a general mobilization against forces loyal to the embattled current president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Hadi had just given a defiant speech challenging the Houthis, his first public address since fleeing the capital and establishing a base in the southern city of Aden last month.
Brig. Gen. Hamoud al-Harathi, commander of special forces units based in Taiz, rejected Hadi’s legitimacy as president. Meanwhile, thousands demonstrated in Taiz against both the Houthis and Saleh.