Clashes between UAE-Saudi backed forces kill civilians in Yemen's Aden

Clashes between UAE-Saudi backed forces kill civilians in Yemen's Aden
A security source said at least six civilians were killed and 12 others wounded on Friday during clashes in Yemen's second city Aden.
3 min read
10 August, 2019
Clashes have raged across Aden this week [Getty]
At least six civilians were killed and 12 others wounded on Friday during clashes in Yemen's second city Aden, a security source said, as violence flares between pro-government fighters and those seeking an independent south.

The fighting erupted on Wednesday and has continued unabated between the two sides, who are in effect backers of the Aden-based internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

One faction however is known as the Security Belt, a force trained by the United Arab Emirates, which is dominated by fighters who seek independence for southern Yemen.

On Friday, fierce clashes broke out between the two sides during which a mortar round crashed into a house killing six people, four of whom were from the same family, a security source said.

Twelve other people were wounded in the fighting, the source said.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) tweeted Friday that it had treated 75 people in a hospital run by the charity "since yesterday (Thursday) night" including seven who were in a critical condition.

"Most of the patients we admitted are civilians and were injured by shrapnel during shelling on their houses or stray bullets," MSF said.

Aden is located in southern Yemen, which is largely controlled by loyalist forces.

Southern Yemen was an independent state until 1990 and the north is perceived to have imposed unification by force.

The latest developments came as UAE-backed southern separatists leader Hani bin Breik called on supporters to overthrow the Saudi-backed internationally-recognised Hadi government in Aden.

Read more: Yemen in Focus: War takes a new turn as Saudi, UAE allies pursue disparate agendas

Bin Breik called on supporters to march toward the Maasheeq Palace in the southern coastal city, which has for years played as the temporary capital of the war-torn country.

"We announce a general mobilisation of all our southern forces to march toward the Maasheeq Palace," said Hani Ben Brek, deputy chairman of the Southern Transitional Council.

Bin Breik, one of the UAE's key allies in Yemen and reportedly a close aide of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, accused forces stationed at the presidential headquarters of attacking demonstrators loyal to the separatist movement during a funeral for victims of a recent attack.In a statement carried by the official Saba news agency, the government on Thursday blamed the secessionist Southern Transitional Council for "the armed escalation... and its dire consequences, which threaten the security and safety of residents" and Aden's stability.

It called on the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition backing the government against Houthi rebels, to "exert urgent and strong pressure on the Transitional Council to prevent any military manoeuvres in the city".

It also called for all armed forces to be incorporated into the state's security apparatus.

Tensions have often run high in Aden between the UAE-backed Security Belt and Saudi-backed forces supporting the Aden-based government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The UAE is a key partner in a Saudi-led military coalition which intervened in Yemen more than four years ago to prop up Hadi's government in the face of an uprising by Houthi rebels.

The Houthis control parts of northern and western Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

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