Tens of thousands of Yemenis take to the streets of Sanaa in a massive show of support for the Houthi-led bloc, in one of the biggest demonstrations in Yemen since 2011 protests that forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of Sanaa on Saturday (August 20) in a massive show of support for the Houthi-led bloc that retains control of the capital and several major towns and cities across the country. The demonstration was one of the biggest in Yemen since mass protests in 2011 forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. The rally took place as the Saudi-led coalition backing the exiled President Abd-Rabbou Mansour Hadi stepped up air strikes after peace talks failed to end the 16-month civil war. The Houthis and their allies in the General People's Congress, the party of former President Saleh, announced the formation of a higher political council earlier this month that would be in charge of governing Sanaa. The demonstration was in support for the higher council and a denouncement of the Saudi-backed and exiled government of President Hadi. The war has killed more than 6,500 people, displaced more than 2.5 million and caused a humanitarian catastrophe. The internationally recognised government of President Hadi is battling the Iran-allied Houthis in a bitter civil conflict and is also facing al-Qaeda militants. The Saudi-led coalition is trying to prevent the Houthis and forces loyal to Saleh from taking full control of Yemen.