World Media

Southern separatists overrun barracks in Yemen's Aden

By anasalhajj

But the International Crisis Group think tank warned that the latest clashes "threaten to tip southern Yemen into a civil war within a civil war". The growing probability of a civil war within the war threatens to make this even more hard.

He said the two sides had agreed the separatist forces would not try to seize the palace, located in the predominantly residential Crater district, while government forces would refrain from attacking them.

The fighting started after separatist fighters were killed by Islamists, At the funeral, separatist leaders suggested the Islamists were loyal to the government, and urged a rebellion.

Within days, the separatists forces had seized Hadi's presidential palace and military bases around the city.

The Huthis had overrun large parts of northern and western Yemen, including the capital Sanaa, which they still control.

He said the coalition called on the separatist Southern Transitional Council and its Security Belt paramilitary forces to "return immediately to its positions and withdraw from all positions they seized in the past days". The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

Ties between the Security Belt and Hadi loyalists have been strained for years, and this week was not the first time they have engaged in armed clashes.

The Sunni Muslim coalition said it attacked an area that posed a "direct threat" to the Saudi-backed government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is temporarily based in Aden.

Separately, the Houthis' Al-Masirah TV quoted a military spokesman as saying the group had launched a drone attack against Saudi Arabia's civilian Abha airport, targeting the fuel depot and control tower.

Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Khalid bin Salman also called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities and withdrawal from all forcefully occupied locations in Aden".

The Saudi foreign ministry said it had invited the Yemeni government and "all parties involved in the conflict in Aden to hold an urgent meeting in Saudi Arabia to discuss disputes, give priority to prudence and dialogue, and unify ranks." Col.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed called on United Nations special envoy Martin Griffiths, who is trying to de-escalate tensions across Yemen, "to deploy efforts and exert pressure" to that objective. Residents said clashes had ceased on Saturday night.

The commander was among 36 people killed - many of them newly graduated cadets - in the aerial attack, claimed by the Houthis.

The fighting has left at least 18 dead and scores of wounded, medics and security sources have said.

Doctors Without Borders on Saturday described Aden as "a battlefield" and said its hospital there was "stretched to the limit".

As many as 40 people have been killed and 260 injured since the latest round of fighting broke out on Thursday, the office of the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator for the country said in a statement on Sunday, citing preliminary reports.

The joint forces have also valued the Yemeni National Leaderships that have responded to the coalition and Yemeni people's appeals and have chosen to serve their country's interest. Almost 80 per cent of the total population, 24.1 million people, requires some form of humanitarian assistance and protection.