Fighters linked to al-Qaeda have reportedly seized a major airport and an oil terminal in southern Yemen.
It comes as the country slides deeper into chaos, with Shiite Houthi rebels locked in fighting with pro-government forces backed by Saudi air strikes.
The United Nations’ special envoy to Yemen even stepped down on Thursday after he failed to broker an end to the conflict.
Now fighters linked to Al Qaeda are said to have seized Mukalla, the capital of Yemen’s largest province Hadramawt, as well the oil terminal of Ash Shihr.
Meanwhile in the capital Sanaa, Houthi supporters rallied against the U.N. Security Council’s arms embargo imposed on the rebels and their backers.
Iran has been suspected of supporting the rebels, but its foreign minister told Euronews Teheran wasn’t meddling – and neither should other countries.
“Foreign powers should not set conditions for the future of Yemen nor should they engage in negotiations,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview.
“What they need to do is to facilitate the dialogue among various Yemeni groups and this is what we are prepared to do.”
For now the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is worsening. The UN estimates that the conflict has already displaced 100,000 people and it fears at least as many more could flee the violence in the coming months.