UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Yemen
United Nations: The UN Security Council on Saturday said the 15-nation UN body will meet in an emergency session on Sunday afternoon to discuss the current situation in Yemen, which suffered several terrorist attacks over the past few days.
The UN Spokesperson’s Office said that the council will hold a closed session at 3 p.m. on Sunday for consultations on the Middle East, Xinhua reported.
Diplomatic sources close to the council said the 15 council members are expected to adopt a presidential statement at the end of the emergency meeting.
The emergency council meeting was announced as the US is reportedly withdrawing its military personnel from a base in Yemen because of increasing insecurity there. The US military has not confirmed the evacuation.
About 100 US troops, including special forces commandos, are leaving al-Anad air base near the southern city of al-Houta, reports said.
The city came under attacks by Al Qaeda fighters on Friday, although they were later driven out by the Yemeni army, just one day after suicide bombers killed at least 137 people in the capital Sanaa.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the council strongly condemned the deadly terrorist attacks on two mosques in the capital.
Militants allied to Islamic State said they had carried out the attack, reports said.
The Shia Houthi group took over control of Sanaa in September and met strong resistance in the central and southern regions by powerful Sunni tribes and Sunni-dominated Al Qaeda network.
On Thursday, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was forced to flee his presidential palace after two fighter planes targeted his residence in Aden, the second biggest city in the country, reports said.
Tensions have been building in Aden for days. Hadi loyalists dominate the city, but two army units are loyal to Brigadier Abdul-Haffez Saqqaf, a pro-Saleh commander, who leads 3,000 special police troops in Aden. Hadi unsuccessfully tried to remove Saqqaf from his post earlier this month, prompting some clashes.
Yemen is the base of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a powerful offshoot of the jihadi militant group that has carried out similar suicide attacks on Houthi supporters.
However, the terrorist Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIL or ISIS, is also gaining ground in the country.