Yemen's embattled president is asking the U.N. Security Council to approve a resolution inviting all countries to provide immediate military support to his government to deter Houthi Shiite rebels who control much of the north and are advancing south.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said in a letter to the council obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that he also asked members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League to intervene militarily to protect Yemen and its people from "Houthi aggression."

Hadi asked the council to approve the resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which can be militarily enforced.

The Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in September and have closed in on the southern port city of Aden, where Hadi is now based.