Saudi, UAE-backed forces go to war for control of Aden, south Yemen

A general state of war has erupted between Saudi and Emirati-backed Yemen armed groups for control of Aden, the so-called ‘interim capital’ of the country.

In Aden and its nearby countryside, pro-Hadi government forces backed by Saudi Arabia have gone over to the offensive against Southern Resistance (STC) separatists backed by the UAE – this later group having seized the city just weeks before.

According to reports from officials within the Hadi government, its Saudi-backed forces are in the midst of a major counter-offensive against the STC, having re-entered Aden and secured certain city neighborhoods as well as the main airport entrance.

Furthermore, pro-Hadi forces reportedly drove STC units from key parts of Abyan Province, after securing the regional capital of Zinjibar and a number of the region’s districts in recent days.

AFP sources based in Aden reported that the pro-Hadi operation has so-far witnessed shelling and gun battles in the streets of the city.

Historically, pro-Hadi forces and STC separatists have mostly worked together as part of a joint Saudi-UAE effort to counter Houthi rebels (often referred to as the Ansar Allah movement) operating in Yemen’s mountainous northwest.