Killed, 260 Wounded In Clashes In Yemen’s Aden

Yemen Aden

The deadly clashes reflect deep divisions between secessionists and loyalist forces, both of whom have fought Shiite Huthi rebels.

The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition said it attacked an area that poses a "direct threat" to the Saudi-backed government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is temporarily based in Aden.

In January 2018, the southern separatists attempted to seize government facilities and military bases in Aden.

However, the armed forces started to withdraw from the areas they had seized, according to Saudi Arabia's Al-Ekhbariya TV channel, which quoted an official from the Saudi-led coalition, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

An eyewitness confirmed the complex had been handed over.

The separatists also surrounded the all-but empty presidential palace of the internationally recognised government that is temporarily based in the port city, a government official and another local official said.

It also called on the UAE to "immediately cease" material and military support to any rebel groups against the government.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Saudi-backed government whose temporary headquarters are in Yemen. It said it treated 119 patients in less than 24 hours amid the fighting.

A member of the southern separatist movement rides an armoured military vehicle in Yemen's Aden on August 11, 2019, following clashes between pro-government forces and separatists.

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Yemen, the Middle East's poorest nation, was already in the grips of what the U.N. has described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Separatist commanders accused the Al-Islah Islamist party of killing one of its commanders and "infiltrating" the Hadi government, which is politically and financially supported by Saudi Arabia. "Yet to this point in the conflict, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh have worked to maintain a relative detent between competing interests in the south", Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst at International Crisis Group, told Reuters.

"It is time for the main powers on the ground to hold serious and constructive talks to take Yemen towards a federation that appeases all sides under a united national framework", Hussein al-Azzi tweeted.

Officers congratulated the Emirati military personnel while visiting several army units stationed in Najran and Taif, Saudi Arabia, which are part of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition Forces operating in Mukalla and Khawkhah, Yemen.

UAE's official WAM news agency reported Saturday that the country's foreign minister, Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed, called for an end to the military escalation in Aden.

After the coalition warning, the STC had agreed to the ceasefire.

He said the UAE was "exerting all efforts to calm and de-escalate the situation in Aden", adding that the two camps should focus their efforts on fighting the Huthis instead of each other.

"We are decreasing our staff numbers in Aden until we can determine that we can safely perform all our tasks once more", United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said in NY on Monday.

The commander was among 36 people killed - many of them newly graduated cadets - in the aerial attack, claimed by the Houthis.

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