The U.N. special envoy for Yemen is warning an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that events are pushing the Arab country "to the edge of civil war" and is urging all parties to step back from the brink and resolve the conflict peacefully.

Jamal Benomar stressed repeatedly in a video briefing from Qatar Sunday that "peaceful dialogue is the only option we have."

He says "it would be an illusion" to think that Houthi Shiite rebels, who control the capital Sanaa and much of the north, or embattled President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who has fled to the south, can take control of the entire country.

If Yemen is pushed in either direction, Benomar warns of "a protracted conflict in the vein of an Iraq, Syria, Libya combined scenario."