Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters, also known as Houthis, have captured the strategic Red Sea city of Hudeida, officials say.
Security officials said on Tuesday that the Ansarullah revolutionaries entered the city, 226 kilometers (140 miles) west of the capital Sana’a, taking over its air and seaport. They are said to have faced little resistance.
Both military and Houthi sources confirmed that Ansarullah fighters have been deployed across the main roads in the city.
The takeover of Hudeida, home to Yemen’s second most important port, comes just weeks after the Ansarullah fighters seized the capital.
The Ansarullah activists, who played a key role in the ouster of former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, staged demonstrations in the capital for more than a month, demanding the resignation of the government over what they call its corruption and marginalization of the Shia community in Yemen.
A UN-backed ceasefire deal, which was subsequently inked, called for the withdrawal of the revolutionaries from the capital once a neutral prime minister was picked.
Earlier this month, the Ansarullah revolutionaries rejected the appointment of Chief of Staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak as the country’s new prime minister, saying the decision has been made at the behest of the United States.
Yemen’s Ansarullah accused the embassy of the United States in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, of involvement in the president’s pick for the post of prime minister.
On Monday, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi officially appointed former oil and minerals minister, Khaled Mahafoudh Bahah, as the country’s new prime minister to form the national unity government.