Houthi fighters storm presidential palace
Houthi fighters walk at a presidential guards barrack on a mountain overlooking the presidential palace in Sanaa January 20, 2015.Reuters

Houthi rebels in Yemen have taken over the presidential palace situated in Sanaa, the country's capital, in what is being dubbed as a "coup".

AlArabia reported that Houthi fighters entered the palace after a brief clash with the guards. It is understood that the main office of President Abd Rabbu Mansour was handed over to the rebels.

The rebels are said to have received inside help in storming into the palace. They were also looting arm depots in the palace grounds, BBC quoted Col Saleh al-Jamalani, commander of the force that guards the President, as saying. 

Yemen, a key US ally in the fight against al-Qaeda in the region, has remained in turmoil for months. And although the militia had overtaken the Sanaa region in September, the presidential region had remained beyond their grasp so far.

Although President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi was not at the presidential palace at the time of the attack, it is reported that his residence in another part of the city is also under attack.