Houthi militia on tank. (Photo: AA)
Houthi militia on tank. (Photo: AA)

Aden, Yemen, 6 Jumadil Akhir 1436/26 March 2015 (MINA) – Shiite Houthi loyalists have seized control of several state institutions in the southern city of Aden, eyewitnesses have said.

“Houthi loyalists have seized state institutions in the city,” one eyewitness told The Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

According to witnesses, pro-Houthi militants seized control of Aden’s central bank HQ amid attempts by militants to take over the city’s airport as well.

Eyewitnesses said earlier Wednesday that warplanes had targeted the vicinity of Aden’s presidential palace – where embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi is currently holed up.

The air attack came as Houthi forces began advancing on Aden, from which Hadi had sought to reinstate his embattled presidency after fleeing capital Sanaa late last month.

Earlier Wednesday, a source close to Hadi dismissed rumors that the embattled president had fled Aden in light of the looming Houthi advance.

Yemen has been in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran Sanaa, from which they have since sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country as well.

Late last month, Hadi fled Sanaa – where he had been placed under house arrest by the Houthis – to Aden.

Upon his arrival in the southern city, Hadi dismissed as “null” and “illegitimate” all recently-issued Houthi decrees. He also retracted a resignation he had tendered earlier to Yemen’s parliament.

The Houthis, for their part, 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. (T/P001/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)