UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions on Yemen's former president and two military commanders of the powerful Shiite Houthi rebels late Friday for threatening the peace, security and stability of the country.
The council ordered a freeze of all assets and a global travel ban on former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has allied with the Houthis, and rebel military leaders Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim.
Approval by all 15 council members is required to impose sanctions.
Lithuania's U.N. Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, who chairs the Yemen sanctions committee, tweeted that there were no objections by the 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) deadline Friday.
Last month, the Security Council condemned the growing number of al-Qaida linked terrorist attacks, expressed deep concern at the Houthi takeover of the capital Sanaa, and urged the government to expedite reforms.
The council said it was prepared to sanction "spoilers" blocking implementation of a transitional roadmap to peace and democracy adopted after a national dialogue. Soon after, the United States proposed the three names.
Thousands of Houthis and supporters of Saleh rallied in Sanaa earlier Friday, denouncing the United States over its push for sanctions against the ousted president and rebel leaders and carrying posters urging the U.S. ambassador to get out of the country.
Saleh stepped down in 2011 as part of a U.S.-backed, Gulf-brokered deal after months of protests against his rule. But backers of the new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, accuse Saleh of undermining him. Many believe Saleh, who remains a powerful political player, helped Houthi rebels in the past months as they swept into Sanaa.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the sanctions make "clear that the international community will not tolerate efforts to use violence to thwart the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people and their ongoing political transition."