Ye­men pres­i­dent in sur­prise Aden visit Fierce fight­ing rages af­ter truce col­lapse

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Ye­meni Pres­i­dent Abedrabbo Man­sour Hadi flew into Aden from his base in neigh­bor­ing Saudi Ara­bia yes­ter­day on a sur­prise visit to the head­quar­ters of his be­lea­guered govern­ment, an aide said. Hadi is ex­pected to stay for a few days in the south­ern port city, which is still prey to fre­quent un­rest 18 months af­ter his loy­al­ists drove out Iran-backed rebels with the sup­port of a Saudi-led coali­tion. It is the pres­i­dent’s first visit to Aden in a year and comes two months af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Ahmed bin Dagher and seven min­is­ters set up base in the city.

The govern­ment had pre­vi­ously op­er­ated from ex­ile since Oct 2015. The cap­i­tal Sanaa, like most of the north of the coun­try, re­mains in the hands of the rebel and their al­lies. Hadi’s au­thor­ity is largely con­fined to the south and ar­eas along the Saudi border. Even within the south, his loy­al­ists have faced re­peated at­tack by ji­hadists of both Al-Qaeda and its ri­val, the Is­lamic State group. Se­cu­rity chiefs in Aden have been a par­tic­u­lar tar­get.

Hadi’s visit came as fierce fight­ing raged be­tween pro-govern­ment forces and the rebels fol­low­ing the col­lapse of a US-backed cease­fire on Mon­day. The rebels launched a re­newed as­sault on the out­skirts of the town of Midi, on the Red Sea coast near the Saudi border, killing six sol­diers and wound­ing 14, a mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said. Loy­al­ist forces cap­tured the town in Jan­uary but it has since changed hands sev­eral times.

The rebels lost two fight­ers but suc­ceeded in clear­ing loy­al­ist forces from the road be­tween Midi and Haradh, a town in­land that has also changed hands sev­eral times in the past year, the of­fi­cial said. Fur­ther east, govern­ment forces launched a cross-border in­cur­sion from the Saudi prov­ince of Na­jran, cap­tur­ing the long­closed Al-Baqaa cus­toms post and killing 18 rebels, another mil­i­tary of­fi­cial said. Six loy­al­ists were also killed. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.