Dozens killed as UAE strikes Saudi-backed Yemeni government troops in Aden: reports

Dozens killed as UAE strikes Saudi-backed Yemeni government troops in Aden: reports
As many as 40 Yemeni government troops have been killed in an Emirati airstrike near the southern city of Aden, according to local reports.
2 min read
29 August, 2019
Aden has been at the centre of a north-south conflict [Getty]
Yemeni government forces in Aden have been bombed by United Arab Emirates, local reports say.

The UAE, which has backed southern separatists in Yemen, has been attacking forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government.

Local sources say that up to 40 people were killed in the Emirati strikes.

Mohamed al-Oban, a commander of the special forces in the Abyan province, said the troops were headed towards Aden on Thursday when the airstrikes took place.

Al-Oban didn't specify who was behind the strikes, only saying that the planes were from the Saudi-led coalition. The UAE is a key member of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.

The reports came in hours after Yemen separatists announced they had regained full control of Aden, just a day after the government took over the strategic city following a battle between the warring factions.

The separatists, who seek an independent South Yemen, seized Aden on August 10 following heavy clashes with government troops. The major gain saw them press on to take other strategic areas, before being pushed back.

The southern question has reportedly caused tensions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both allies in a military coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia seeks to preserve Yemen's unity and is a staunch supporter of the Hadi government, whereas the UAE is backing the separatists who seek an independent South Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has in recent weeks been privately expressing "extreme irritation" with close ally UAE when talking to Yemeni government officials.