Al Arabiya News – Egypt evacuated its diplomatic mission in Aden on Wednesday as Iranian-backed Houthi rebels launched an offensive to capture the city, where President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has taken refuge.
The impoverished southern Arabian peninsula country’s crisis appeared to reach a boiling point on Wednesday, as the Houthis encircled the capital, and embattled Hadi – who leads the beleagured internationally-recognized government – called on foreign troops to intervene.
Earlier reports by the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse said the president had fled Aden after the Houthi rebels captured a nearby airbase and advanced toward the city.
Around the same time, unidentified warplanes fired missiles at the Aden neighborhood where Hadi’s compound is located, residents said. Anti-aircraft batteries opened fire on the planes.
The city’s airport was closed and all flights were cancelled for security reasons, guards at the facility told Reuters.
Yemen’s slide towards civil war has made the country a crucial front in rivalries between Gulf monarchies and Iran.