Thousands in Yemen denounce US at rally to support ex-president, Shiite rebels

Thousands of supporters of Yemen's ousted president and Shiite rebels who have overrun the country's capital are rallying in Sanaa, denouncing what they claim to be American "interference" in Yemen's affairs.

The demonstration comes in the countdown to a Friday night deadline at the U.N. Security Council for member states to raise objections to imposing sanctions on Yemen's ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh and two key Shiite Houthi rebel figures.

The three are blamed for orchestrating Yemen's current unrest. All 15 Security Council members must approve sanctions for them to take effect.

The protesters in Sanaa — in much smaller numbers than usual — carried posters urging the U.S. ambassador to get out of the country.

The anti-American Houthis are widely suspected of having strong ties to Shiite powerhouse Iran.