Major gunbattles erupted in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa today, with at least 120 killed in fights between the Shi’ite Houthi rebels and the Yemeni military, and thousands of civilians fleeing their homes to escape the clashes.
The Houthis had been protesting the government and trying to negotiate a settlement, when fighting erupted in their homeland in the nation’s far north. After routing pro-government Sunni Islamists, they marched their forces on the capital yesterday.
Early reports are emerging that the fighting in the capital city is forcing the Hadi government to make further concessions to the Houthis, and a negotiator claimed a deal is in place that will end the fighting by Saturday.
Details of the deal are scant, but it is believed to include Hadi’s previous offers of a new premier and a roll back of some austerity measures (particularly the cutting of a fuel subsidy), as well as an agreement to grant the Houthis certain key ministerial positions in the new government.