On Monday, the Shi’ite Houthi rebels that had been protesting in the thousands for days in Yemen’s capital Sana’a made sweeping military gains in the city, capturing government offices and military installations and prompting some reports to speak of their “almost complete control of the capital.” The Houthis’ stunning advance came only one day after they signed a peace agreement with the Yemeni government calling for the formation of a new inclusive government.

Local press reports on Monday described the complete absence of any Yemeni security services on the streets of Sana’a and the consolidation of the strong Houthi presence in the city. Houthi militias were reportedly fortifying their positions and setting up checkpoints on strategically significant roads in the capital, including Hadda, Sitteen, and Zubayri.

In a sign of their new-found power, the rebels raided the downtown residences of Ali Muhsin, security adviser to the Yemeni president and key military commander, and Hameed al-Ahmar, leader of the Yemeni Alliance for Reform party. Both men hail from the powerful Ahmar clan, part of the Hashid tribal confederation, and have been vocal supporters of the main Sunni party, Islah. On Sunday, Muhsin also clashed with the Houthis at the former headquarters of the First Armored Division and subsequently fled. […]