Yemeni security and military official say the Shiite rebels who overran the capital, Sanaa, are now closing in and besieging a key Red Sea city and its airport.

The officials say the Houthis' push to capture Hodeida, a vital port on Yemen's western Red Sea coast shows they plan to capture as much territory as possible after seizing Sanaa last month.

The Houthis' blitz is the latest crisis that has gripped restive Yemen. The rebels — who subscribe to the Shiite Zaydi sect and who are widely suspected to be supported by Shiite powerhouse Iran — took full control of the provinces of Sadda and Omran, north of Sanaa, in recent weeks.

The officials spoke on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media.