Yemen Separatists Seize Southern Military Base

Jan 31, 2018, 04:22
Yemen Separatists Seize Southern Military Base

The fighting has pitted forces loyal to the war-torn country's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, against separatists who want an independent southern Yemeni state.

Armed separatists appeared to gain the upper hand by wresting a key military base in Khor Maksar district in northern Aden and several government buildings from soldiers loyal to Hadi, local newspaper Aden al-Ghad reported on its website.

The bombing struck a checkpoint manned by United Arab Emirates-trained special operations forces in Ataq, the capital of the oil-rich province of Shabwa, a high-ranking source in the Yemeni army said.

Sources earlier told RIA Novosti that the secessionists for secession of southern Yemen on Sunday in the port of Aden seized a number of government agencies, including the headquarters of the government.

Washington backs the Saudi-led coalition.

The government has accused the separatists of attempting a coup in Aden, where more than 36 people have been killed in clashes that opened yet another front in the country's devastating conflict.

Residents said that hundreds of pro-Southern demonstrators had gathered in a main square.Hospitals said at least nine fighters and one woman were killed in the fighting.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government officials blamed it on the Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch.

It has also exposed deep cracks within the Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels on behalf of Hadi's government since March 2015.

Forces loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) made progress against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and seized nearly all areas in the province of Aden, a Yemeni official told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The STC this month called on Hadi to make changes in his government, accusing him of corruption and mismanagement.

The Interior Ministry sent an urgent appeal to the Saudi-led coalition, asking for its intervention to stop attacks by the STC forces.

The Arab coalition on Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen's interim capital of Aden, saying it will take all necessary measures to restore security.

Britain played a role in securing the removal of the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, after he appeared to have lost the confidence of the Houthis.

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