Yemen president evacuated as airstrike targets palace
THE presidential palace in the southern city of Aden has been evacuated after having been targeted by an airstrike carried out by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi group, a government official said yesterday.
“President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his aides have been evacuated from the palace after it was struck by a warplane,” the official told The Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity. He gave no word, however, as to Hadi’s current whereabouts. A government official had earlier told AA that a Houthi plane had broken the sound barrier over the palace.
“Air-defense systems forced the plane to fly at high altitudes,” he said. It was the first time for a Houthi plane to strike Aden’s presidential palace since the Shiite group took over capital, Sanaa, last September, from which they have sought to extend their control to other parts of the country.
Late last month, Hadi fled Sanaa – where he had been kept under house arrest by the Houthis for weeks – to Aden. Upon his arrival in the southern city, Hadi dismissed as “null” and “illegitimate” all recently-issued Houthi decrees. He also wrote to Yemen’s parliament, withdrawing a resignation he had tendered earlier.
Earlier in February, the Houthis issued what they described as a constitutional declaration dissolving parliament and establishing a 551-member transitional council. The declaration, however, was rejected by most of Yemen’s political forces – along with some neighboring Gulf countries – which described it as a “coup against constitutional legitimacy.”
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