Yemen Separatists Seize Southern Military Base

In March 2015, the UAE joined a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed Shiite Houthis who seized much of Yemen, pushing the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital of Sanaa in 2014.

Speaking to the Yemeni news agency, Badi said the palace, its surroundings and the majority of Crater city were still under the control of the presidential forces, denying claims that armed forces from the so-called "Southern Transitional Council" had controlled the surrounding and the southern gate of the palace. The official declined to say whether the prime minister was to leave Aden.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition that backs Hadi is calling for restraint by the separatists and for the government to listen to their "political and social" demands.

Soldiers stand guard as workers unload aid packages from a Saudi air force cargo plane, at an airfield Yemen's province of Marib.

The infighting in Aden erupted on Sunday, following the end of a one-week deadline the southern leaders had set for the Saudi-backed government to resign, citing "rampant corruption and embezzlement".

A senior government official said that Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Dagher and several ministers remained inside the palace and that the separatists had not seized the palace itself.

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An official at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said at least 36 were killed and 185 were wounded.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that the situation has "restricted staff movements in and outside of Aden" and that humanitarian flights are on hold after the closure of the airport.

Hadi went on to describe the council as "southern separatists". Saudi air defense forces reportedly blocked and shot down a missile fired at the location in November previous year.

Last month, the Houthi's own alliance with forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh broke apart after Saleh switched sides to the Saudi coalition after becoming frustrated with the Houthi's monopoly of the north. Saleh was killed and his fighters and loyalists were overrun and arrested.

Tensions have recently started to spike between southern separatists and the government of Hadi over the control of the southern half of Yemen. Hadi has accused the UAE of taking advantage of Yemen's civil war to boost its own influence in the south of the country.

  • Adam Floyd