Today the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the devolving situation in Yemen. The council will meet in a closed session at 3 p.m. EDT.

Earlier this year the UN condemned the Houthi siege on Sana’a and the subsequent attack on the sitting government. Deposed President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi called for UN action yesterday:

Hadi sounded a defiant note from his base in the south on Saturday, threatening action against the Houthis’ northern stronghold.

“We shall deliver the country to safety and raise Yemen’s flag on Mount Marran in Saadeh instead of the Iranian flag,” he said in a televised speech, his first since reaching Aden. Iran is an ally of the Houthis, who belong to a Shia Muslim sect.

The Houthis, in a statement from their Supreme Revolutionary Committee, did not directly respond to the speech but called for a “general mobilisation” of the armed forces against a “dirty war” they said was being waged by militias loyal to Hadi.

Hadi’s flight to Aden has raised the prospect of armed confrontation between rival governments based in the north and south, creating chaos that could be exploited by the Yemen-based regional wing of al-Qaida.

Remaining US special forces and security personnel evacuated Yemen this weekend after Houthi rebels unveiled a plan to strike out against security and military installations loyal to Hadi.

In addition to threats by the Iranian-backed rebels, two suicide bombing attacks that killed over 100 people in Sana’a last Friday have shaken the confidence of the international community and added to instability in the region. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the two attacks.

If ISIS is indeed responsible for this latest upheaval, that means that we’re dealing with the volatility of ISIS in competition (at least for now) with both the Iranian-backed Houthi, and the internationally-active Yemeni al Qaeda cell, as the country devolves into civil war.

We’ll keep you updated as the situation progresses.


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