Yemeni security and military officials say Shiite rebels who recently overran the capital have now seized a key port city on the Red Sea and a province south of Sanaa in a stunning new blitz.
The development indicates the Shiite Houthis may be determined to carve out a mini-state within Yemen, taking advantage of the weakness of the central government and the disarray in the army and security forces.
Yemeni officials say the rebels on Tuesday overran the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, west of Sanaa.
South of the capital, they took Damar province and its provincial capital. The officials say soldiers and police vanished from the Damar city streets.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.