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Saudi official statement after Aden clashes

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The Saudi Cabinet has welcomed statements from the Arab Coalition Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen calling for restraint and to open a dialogue over the developments in the temporary capital of Yemen in Aden. Chaired by King Salman, the Cabinet also praised the coalition’s call on the Yemenis to work jointly with the coalition to complete liberation of Yemeni lands from the Iranian-backed Houthi militias and to avoid partition, discord and the undermining of state institutions in the conflict. The Cabinet further welcomed the coalition’s demand to all Yemeni parties to stop fighting immediately and to focus on the key objectives, notably restoration of legitimacy, security and stability, and to resolve all issues through available political mechanisms.

The spread of tensions among the coalition forces

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A group of separatists in southern Yemen, backed by the United Arab Emirates, has declared a state of emergency in the port city of Aden and confirmed the intention to overthrow the country’s internationally recognised government, led by Mr Hadi, within the next week. The leader of the separatist group, Aidarous al-Zubaidi, speaking at a meeting on Sunday, accused Hadi’s government of “rampant corruption” and of “waging a misinformation campaign against the southern leaders using state funds”. The new force, which has clashed with forces loyal to Hadi for control of the strategic areas including Aden airport, will “become the core of a new force that will rebuild South Yemen’s security and military institutions” as they added in a statement. The announcement shows the masked tensions between the set of forces allied to fight against the Houthi rebels.  President Hadi and its government is supported by Saudi Arabia while the separatists are backed by the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, The UAE entered Yemen’s war in March 2015 as part of a Saudi-led coalition after Houthi rebels, traditionally based in the northwest of the country, overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014. However, the involvement in the war is slightly changing, nearly three years on, Saudi Arabia has said it “wants out” of the war, while the UAE has become more involved in the conflict, indicating a division in the two countries’ agendas. The UAE has been financing and training armed groups in the south of the country who answer to al-Zubaidi, a 50-year-old militia leader who emerged from relative obscurity in late 2015 after helping purge the Houthis from Aden. At this point, the separation within the forces opposed to the Houthi rebels are enhancing the chaos in the region.

Troops killed in attack on government security HQ

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At least 15 people have been killed in Yemen’s coastal city of Aden, a local resident said, in an attack claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group. The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera that several people died in the city’s Khormaksar district on Sunday after an explosives-rigged car blew up outside the criminal investigation department (CID) building. Armed men, some of whom were wearing military fatigues, then proceeded to storm the facility where clashes were “still ongoing,” the source said. Also in Aden on Sunday, a car bomb targeted the Dar Saad-based office of Yemen’s Islah (Congregation for Reform) party, the country’s largest opposition group, the source said. The building was abandoned and there were no reports casualties, the source said. ISIL took responsibility for the attack on the CID building, according to its Amaq,website, claiming the armed group killed around 50 officers. Earlier on Sunday, images posted on social media showed a pitched street battle between security personnel and unknown fighters near the CID building.

 

Ben Dagher: We will not allow Iran to have a foothold in Yemen

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The internationally recognized Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Ben Dagher vowed not to allow Iran to have a foothold in his country. This came during his meeting in Aden, with the commander of the Saudi forces in the Arab alliance, Brigadier Sultan bin Islam, and a number of officers of Saudi Arabia. Ben Dagher said that their will not allow iran to exist or to spread its culture or destructive projects in Yemen and that the Yemeni people stand supported by countries of the arab alliance. Also, said that Operation Al-Hazm Storm, led by Saudi Arabia, came at a time of divergence and changed the equation of forces. It foiled Iran’s ambition to expand and control Yemen and threaten the security and stability of the Arab world, especially neighboring countries and regional and international shipping. Finally discussed with the commander of the Saudi forces the security and military aspects of the liberation of the remaining areas under the control of the Houthi militias and deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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