SANAA, Yemen, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Shiite insurgents announced the dissolution of Yemen's parliament Friday and a takeover of the national government.
The Houthi rebels overtook the capital city of Sanaa in September and forced the resignation of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in January. While the televised announcement, from the presidential palace, effectively consolidated power in the hands of the Houthis, it likely will not be accepted by majority Sunnis in other parts of the country and could lead to further political chaos.
The address was attended by political, military and tribal leaders to in hope of demonstrating wide support for the Houthi takeover. The rebels said a five-person council would serve in the presidential role, and an appointed, 551-member transitional group would serve as a new parliament for the next two years.
Also at risk are relations between the United States and Yemen, a steadfast anti-terrorism partner in a nation with an active al-Qaida movement. U.S. drone strikes have been effective in containing the al-Qaida insurgency.
The apparent coup came after peace talks, brokered by the United Nations, were unsuccessful. When the negotiations ended, Jamal Benomar, the U.N. envoy, traveled to Riyadh to confer with Saudi officials worried by what they regard as a Shiite success in Yemen, underwritten by Iran. Both the Houthis and the Iranian government have denied claims that Iran has given financial and military support to the Houthis.