UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen launched raids on a site for southern separatists the day after they seized control of the presidential palace in Aden, while separatists said they would not negotiate “under the weight of threat.”
Separatists fighting for the independence of southern Yemen on Saturday took control of the empty presidential palace in Aden, where Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi lives in Riyadh, while the Yemeni government denounced what it called a “coup”.
The alliance called on the Southern Transitional Council, which seeks independence for southern Yemen, to “immediately and completely withdraw from positions taken by force.”
“This operation will be the first and will be followed by another operation if the coalition statement is not complied with,” the coalition said in a statement.
He announced that he “targeted an area that posed a direct threat to one of the important sites of the legitimate government.”
Since Wednesday, violent clashes have broken out in Aden between separatists and forces loyal to Hadi, although they have been fighting in the Saudi-led coalition since 2015.
Events accelerated on Saturday after separatists seized control of three government camps and the presidential palace and reinforced divisions between the two key partners in the Yemeni-backed coalition: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
On Saturday, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry blamed the Southern Transitional Council and the UAE on the “consequences of the coup” in Aden, demanding Abu Dhabi to immediately cease its material and military support for the separatists.
This is not the first time that the Southern Transitional Council separatists have clashed with units loyal to President Hadi.
In January 2018, Aden saw heavy fighting between separatists and government forces, killing 38 people and injuring more than 220 others.
Since 2014, Yemen has been at war between Houthi rebels close to Iran and forces loyal to the government of the president.
The southern separatists and the Hadi government are fighting together as part of the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels.
The south was an independent state until unity with the north in 1990.
Aden has been the provisional capital of the government since the Houthi rebels took control of Sanaa in September 2014.
– Calm in Aden.
The streets of Aden were quiet on Sunday morning, the first day of Eid al-Adha, after coalition raids, witnesses said.
Witnesses said the air strikes targeted the Badr and Jebel Hadid camps in the city, which were controlled by the separatists.
In a tweet, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Salman affirmed Riyadh’s support for the “legitimate government in Yemen,” stressing the need to “preserve the unity and stability of the country.”
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia called on the parties to the conflict in Aden for an “urgent meeting” aimed at “discussing differences and giving prudence and dialogue.”
On Sunday, the Southern Transitional Council welcomed in a statement Saudi Arabia’s call for dialogue, stressing that it is ready.
For his part, Deputy Chairman of the Southern Transitional Council Hani Brik in the sermon Eid al-Adha in Aden “steadfastness and non-negotiation under the weight of the threat.”
Ben Brik also stressed “commitment to the legitimacy of Hadi and stand by the coalition.”
For its part, the Yemeni government welcomed in a statement to the official Saba news agency a ceasefire and the invitation to meet in Saudi Arabia.
“Any rebellion and bullying against the state is unacceptable and is a coup against the state,” government spokesman Rajeh Badi said in a statement.
At least 18 people were killed and dozens wounded in the fighting in Aden, medical and military sources said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen called in a tweet on Saturday on its Twitter account to “neutralize civilians and residential areas” in the fighting.
MSF said in a statement it had treated 119 people in less than 24 hours at a hospital run by the organization in Aden.
In a statement released by his spokesman, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called in a statement for a halt to the fighting in Aden and to “settle their differences and respond to the legitimate concerns of all Yemenis.”
The International Crisis Group warned in a report on Friday that the clashes “threaten to bring southern Yemen into a civil war within the civil war” currently underway.
The group said any such conflict would “deepen what is already the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and make it difficult to achieve a national political settlement.”
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