Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

UN Security Council calls on all sides in Yemen to 'de-escalate'

UN Security Council calls on all sides in Yemen to 'de-escalate'

Former president Saleh plunged the country deeper into turmoil last week by switching allegiances after years helping the Houthis win control of much of the country's north including the capital. Salah also urged his father's followers to fight their former allies, the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

On Monday, Houthis killed Saleh, a former ally, and moved to consolidate their grip on Sanaa Tuesday after a night of heavy air strikes.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, a rebel leader, said Tuesday that "some sons" of Saleh have been hospitalized, without providing further details. He was seen in photos shared Wednesday on the official Twitter account of Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, while receiving the crown prince's condolences at his residence. He posted a picture of himself sitting near Ahmed Ali.

Many Sanaa residents were staying indoors on Wednesday out of fear of a Houthi crackdown.

Following Saleh's death, the Saudi-led coalition was reported to have blitzed Sanaa with an intensified campaign of airstrikes.


"There's a scary calm in the city", said Ali, a 47-year-old businessman who declined to use his full name. Speaking to reporters by phone from Sanaa, he said that "at the same time, people are bracing themselves for more". Top Houthi officials called it high treason backed by their Saudi enemies.

Saleh and the Houthis used to be allies in the struggle against the government headed by President Abd-Rabbu Hadi. Several had been killed in the raids.

The Houthi-controlled interior ministry distributed a video of dozens of seated barefoot men it said were pro-Saleh fighters detained in one of its party headquarters.

"Yemen stands on the brink of a catastrophic starvation", he said.

Dujarric, the U.N. spokesman, told reporters that U.N. special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told a closed meeting of the U.N. Security Council that the killing of Saleh and others was "an adverse development" that will "constitute a considerable change to the political dynamics in Yemen".

Bessho said the 15-member council was deeply concerned about the sharp escalation in violence as well as "the dire and deteriorating" humanitarian situation in Yemen. He said there had been a report that there would be a ceremony around the main mosque, and the United Nations mission should avoid the area because of traffic.

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