On February 1, fighters of the UAE-backed Shabwan Elite Forces (SEF) captured the city of Ataq, the capital of the southern province of Shabwah, from Saudi-backed forces loyal to Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, according to the Iranian al-Alam TV.
The media outlet said that pro-Hadi forces had withdrawn from Ataq without fighting.
Yemeni activists claim that the SEF attack on Ataq is a part of the UAE plan to impose its control over all the oil rich areas in southern Yemen through the SEF and the Southern Transitional Council (STC).
In a related development, the Saudi-led coalition confirmed that a ceasefire agreement had been reached in the southern city of Aden. A delegation of the Saudi Army and the UAE Army visited the coastal city on February 1 to insure that pro-Hadi forces and the STC were respecting the agreement, according to the al-Arabiya TV.
During its visit to Aden, the Saudi-UAE delegation held a meeting with local officials and stressed that Saudi Arbia and the UAE share the same vision regarding the future of Yemen. The Saudi and UAE officers also called on all Yemeni forces to focus on “the main goal which is defeating Iranian-backed Houthis,” according to al-Arabiya TV.
Observers believe that the tension between pro-Hadi forces and the STC in southern Yemen will not end any time soon, as Mansur Hadi refuses to sack the Ahmed Obeid bin Daghe government, the main source of the tension.