The U.S.-backed President and Prime Minister of Yemen, Abd-Rabbu Mansour and Khaled Balah, have offered their resignation from the country’s top positions, according to reports from the region.
Iran-backed Houthi Shiite militants have reportedly been holding Yemen’s president ‘captive’ at his presidential palace, in an action described by a Yemeni Colonel to the AP as a military coup. This is the “completion of a coup” and the president has “no control,” added Yemen’s Information Minister. U.S. officials have thus far refused to describe the developments as a “coup.”
This reportedly forced the U.S.-backed President to accede to the militant’s demands: that the Houthis are given prominent positions of power within the government, and that they will be allowed to maintain an active presence in the country’s capital city of Sanaa.
U.S. President Barack Obama has maintained that the United States’ partnership with the Yemeni government was a model for counterterrorism success. The President said in a September speech that the Yemen model for counterinsurgency would be utilized in fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq:
This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
Below is an English-translated version of what is believed to be Yemen Prime Minister Balah’s resignation letter to President Hadi, posted on Facebook: