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Yemeni rebel leader vows escalation if reforms stall

Published:Wednesday | January 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM

SANAA, Yemen (AP):

The leader of the Shiite rebels who control Yemen's capital and seized the presidential palace yesterday warned of a further escalation if President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi stands in the way of political reform.

In a lengthy speech aired by the group's TV network, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said "all options are open" and that escalation "has no ceiling" if the president does not "speed up" implementation of a UN-brokered peace deal.

That deal would grant the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, greater power and shake up a committee tasked with drafting a new constitution.

Houthi also voiced defiance to the UN Security Council, which held a closed-door meeting on the Yemeni crisis yesterday, saying "any measure you take to force this country to succumb ... will not benefit you".