Per James Rosen
Yemeni officials concede that the Shi’ite Houthi rebels are now “the dominant force” across the northern provinces of the country, and in the capital, Sana’a, but they insist President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is safe, remains the head of state, and is not, contrary to widespread reporting, being kept captive by rebel fighters.
“No one has called for the Cabinet or the state to dissolve,” a senior Yemeni official told Fox News. “We are working out a political resolution and expect a breakthrough soon – maybe tonight or tomorrow. We are not headed towards armed conflict, as we might have been two days ago.”
Speaking on background due to the sensitivity of the situation, the official said Houthi fighters are now standing “side to side” with the president’s own corps of guards, many of whom fled last night, and are “protecting him,” not menacing him. “He is not detained,” the source said of Hadi. “If he needs to attend meetings in the palace or the presidential areas, he can move freely.”
The official also insisted that Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, reported to have fled his house for a “safe place,” also remains in his post.
Sources said the demands being pressed by the Houthis do not include, as has been widely reported, the right to choose the country’s vice president. Rather, the rebel group – which enjoys a measure of support from Iran – is making four core demands, all in line with the Peace and Political Participation Agreement that the state and the rebels finalized back in September.
These demands include reform of the National Authority, the body responsible for the drafting of the country’s constitution; the right to make edits to the constitution; a swift resolution to tensions in the eastern, oil-producing provinces; and full political participation in government agencies.
More on this story tonight on Special Report--