Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BREAKING: Officials : #Yemen president flees #Aden home

UPDATED: Warplanes attack Yemen presidential palace as Hadi leaves Aden:Reports

Other presidential sources insist Hadi remains in Aden, leading battles against advancing Houthi militants; the Shia rebels say they arrested Hadi's defence minister, offer large bounty for capturing Hadi

President Hadi

Yemen President Abdo Rabby Mansour Hadi

Warplanes launched three rocket attacks on Wednesday afternoon against the presidential palace in Aden, several hours after Yemen's President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled the city as Houthi militias close in on the southern capital, Sky News Arabia reported .

Sources in presidential guard also confirmed that Hadi left Aden, by helicopter, accompanied by diplomats from Saudi Arabia, from the Maasheeq presidential palace.

However, other presidential sources- speaking to the independent Yemen Today news website- denied that Hadi fled Aden.

Hadi, according to these sources, is still leading the armed resistance against the Shia militants.  

Meanwhile, Houthi rebels offered a 20 million Yemeni rial ($100,000) as a bounty for capture of embattled president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, reported Yemen telivision in the Shia-controlled capital of Sanaa.

Sky News Arabia also reported that Yemen's defence minister Major-General Mahmoud al-Subaihi has been arrested on Wednesday in Aden by advancing Shia Houthi militants,  

The news network did not provide further details on the whereabouts of al-Subaihi, or the air attacks against the presidential palace.

Five officials had earlier told The Associated Press that Yemen's embattled president has fled his Aden home for an undisclosed location as Shia rebels near his last refuge. The officials spoke to the AP just hours after the rebels' own television station said they seized an air base where US troops and Europeans advised the country in its fight against al-Qaida.

That air base is only 60 kilometers (35 miles) away from Aden, the port city where president Hadi had established a temporary capital.

Two US government sources had told Reuters on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen.