Clashes between forces loyal to pro-Saudi ‘President’ Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and UAE-backed southern separatists are raging in the Yemeni city of Ade since August 7.
Tensions erupted after Hani bin Breik, a top member of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC), called on his supporters to overthrow the Saudi-backed government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi based in Aden.
“We announce a general mobilisation of all our southern forces to march toward the Maasheeq Palace,” Brek, deputy chairman of the STC, said.
He further called on STC forces to march toward the Maasheeq Palace in the southern coastal city, which has for years played as the capital of the Saudi-led coalition forces. The real capital of Yemen, Sanaa, remains in the hands of the Ansar Allah movement (the Houthis).
The pretext for this call became the accusations against pro-Hadi forces that stationed at the presidential headquarters of attacking demonstrators loyal to the SCT during a funeral for victims of a recent attack. At least 49 people were killed in two separate attacks on August 1 in government-held Aden. On August 2, Al-Qaeda gunmen killed 19 soldiers in an attack on an army base in southern Yemen, according to pro-coalition sources.
By August 7, the tensions turned into a full-scale clashes between pro-Hadi and pro-STC forces. Both sides have deployed own reinforcements and military equipment to the city.
By August 9, pro-Hadi forces had gained full control over the Al Hadid mountain and the 1st Brigade base, captured the Ummal(worker) Island blocking the SCT’s supply line via sea. In turn, STC forces entered the Naql Camp near the administrative buildings.
There have been reports that STC forces seized the Badr base, but they are unntrue. The area is controlled by the pro-Hadi forces. An intense fighting is ongoing near Aden Airport, which has been closed.
In general, STC forces are more motivated and better trained that Hadi supporters. Nonetheless, the best pro-STC units are now deployed near the Houthis-controlled port city of al-Hudaydah. So, they need time to return to Aden. Therefore, in the event of a further escalation, it’s possible that the STC may push to establish a full cntrol of the city (it already controls most of it).
This development would mean the full collapse of the Saudi claims regarding supporting the ‘legal’ government of Yemen that may lose even the temporary capital.
More about the STC, the Houthis, pro-Hadi forces and the background of the ongoing war in Yemen can be found in the video below:
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