Yemen Crisis | News & Discussions

BLACKEAGLE

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Bahah and Bakri: The promising future of Yemen
Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Last May, a number of Saudi academics and I met in an old hotel in Berlin with a group of Western researchers on Middle Eastern issues. We were joined by Iranian researchers and we all participated in a ‘policy game’, or ‘political expectations game’ in Arabic. It was originally known as a ‘war game’ – but when Europeans became peace-loving people, they changed its name!

We split into different groups of Saudis, Iranians, Europeans, Americans, and Russians, as these are the main powers that have a strong influence today in the Middle East. A German researcher was among us. He was described as an expert in the region’s affairs, since he served as a diplomat and a member of the intelligence service there. He kept his identity a secret, despite participating with us in the ‘game’! He wrote his predictions as to what will happen in the region in both August and November. We had to discuss his expectations during two long meetings, and predict our own country’s political reaction to them, without changing anything in his scenario of what was supposed to be taking place.

Now, after seeing the Yemeni Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah jumping enthusiastically out of the plane that carried him back, once and for all, to the liberated Aden, I just wish I could meet that German expert again to tell him: “all your expectations regarding Yemen were wrong, and you have to reconsider your confidence in the Saudi military and political capacity”. He had predicted the fall of Aden in early June, as well as Taiz in mid-November, to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi forces.

No solution on the horizon
In the real world, Taiz is currently on the verge of being liberated, while Aden is fully liberated and the Bahah government has permanently returned there. However, the German’s only expectation that turned out to be true was that “no solution to the Yemeni political crisis is looming in the horizon”.

This is what I found to be the main concern of Vice President Bahah when I met him in Riyadh, two days before his trip to Aden. I wished then that I had accepted his invitation and accompanied him there. He was busy asking: Where is Yemen heading to, after the war? It is the right question to ask, and the influencing forces there have to develop a plan for the coming days, after the fall of the Houthis and Saleh.

A country like Yemen is tired of politicians and power-sharing between ruling families. It is time for Yemen to be managed with a mentality of development and productivity.

Jamal Khashoggi
Yemen is a complex block that got more complicated after the 2011 revolution and the current war. The old rules are no longer valid, but their negative impact is still effective today – as seen in the assassinations carried out as a way to resolve disputes and political rivalry. We should not accuse the Houthis or Saleh’s governance of all the assassinations that have happened, or will happen, in Aden. Yes, they are the two main suspects but there are others also who may be responsible.

Changing forces
What is new in Yemen is the growing power of the youth aspiring to a better life, as well as the forces of the 2011 revolution that blamed the GCC for marginalizing their role in its famous initiative to end Saleh’s era, and keep him at the same time.

However, the GCC and more specifically the “Decisive Storm” operation led by Saudi Arabia, re-energized the Yemeni revolution forces when they emerged as leaders of the resistance. This was a necessary step to confirm the popular rejection of the Houthis and Saleh, and proved that the legitimate Yemeni government, represented by President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, was real.

On the other hand, the power of the tribes and their elders shrank, in a process that lasted for decades and began before the revolution in 2011. The influence of the tribes and elders has been replaced by political parties and ideology, which is bound to prosper if Yemen chooses the way of pluralist politics. The last tribal Sheikh in Yemen, the late Abdullah bin Husayn bin Nasser al-Ahmar, discovered this at an early stage when he famously stated: “My tribe is the Brotherhood”, referring of course to the Muslim Brotherhood. He established with them the al-Islah party – or the Yemeni Congregation for Reform – which celebrated its 25th anniversary last week.

Bahah and Bakri
The image of Bahah arriving in Aden, accompanied by Nayef al-Bakri – the controversial, yet popular former governor of Aden – reflects this change. It is a message to the Yemenis that it is time for youth and change. Bakri represents the resistance, as he was one of its leaders in Aden. He withdrew from the Yemeni Congregation for Reform to confirm that the national cause is prevailing now. Nevertheless, he kept up the spirit of the 2011 revolution when he collided with the mentality of power-sharing, which is trying to be restored even though the war has not yet ended.

When I met Bahah at the Conference Palace in Riyadh, from where he was running the battle to save Yemen, he was preoccupied with the dismissal of al-Bakri. He described it to me as “an issue that we do not need”, since it almost became a crisis in Aden after some tried to extend it to the regional level by getting neighboring countries involved. It also almost became an internal crisis since Bakri was able to get the youth support, and it would have reached the partisan level through Bakri’s affiliation to the Yemeni Congregation for Reform party.

I think that the forced crisis of Bakri’s dismissal is just a clash between two generations and two cultures: one led Yemen to its current status and the other wants to get Yemen out of it. This is why Bahah interrupted my questions about Bakri by saying: “I will not give up on this young man. If he doesn’t become the governor of Aden, he will be with me in the Ministry to serve Yemen as a whole”.

Bahah believes in a theory that is worth being taken into consideration by Yemen’s neighbors: “development in time of war”. He does not want to disrupt the development just because there is a war in Yemen. He explained his theory by saying: “the development and provision of services to citizens are what will prevent Yemen and its liberated territories from collapsing. If citizens see that the state is not working properly, they will lose confidence and hope, and will then resort to alternatives that will gradually turn them into local leaders and militias outside the framework of the state. Yemen will then become like Libya; the situation will get more complicated and consequently we will discover that, after the liberation of Sanaa or after the peace with the Houthis, regions that we left behind us have already collapsed”.

A country like Yemen is tired of politicians and power-sharing between ruling families. It is time for Yemen to be managed with a mentality of development and productivity.

This is why I found Bahah keen to be close to all influential Gulf countries, while wanting to act independently, something Saudi Arabia will probably be supporting. So if I were to return to Berlin, I would suggest that a productive economy, as well as politics, will be key in answering Bahah’s question “where is Yemen going?” It is, however, best to have this question discussed first between Sanaa and Riyadh.

This article was first published in al-Hayat on September 19, 2015.
________________
Jamal Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist, columnist, author, and general manager of the upcoming Al Arab News Channel. He previously served as a media aide to Prince Turki al Faisal while he was Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States. Khashoggi has written for various daily and weekly Arab newspapers, including Asharq al-Awsat, al-Majalla and al-Hayat, and was editor-in-chief of the Saudi-based al-Watan. He was a foreign correspondent in Afghanistan, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan, and other Middle Eastern countries. He is also a political commentator for Saudi-based and international news channels. Twitter: @JKhashoggi

Last Update: Tuesday, 22 September 2015 KSA 12:15 - GMT 09:15
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2015/09/22/Bahah-and-Bakri-The-promising-future-of-Yemen.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Yemen: How Saleh and the Houthi insurgency came to a dead end
Sunday, 20 September 2015

Less than five months after seizing power, Yemen’s rebels are now in a catastrophic situation.

They are trapped without petrol or diesel. They have no electricity, port, airport, financial resources or international recognition. On top of that, due to the heavy shelling, the isolated former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his leaders are sleeping in basements, and the Houthis are hiding in the mountains.

This is a victorious war that faced difficult circumstances. In March, the Houthis had taken over much of Yemen, with the help of the former President Saleh’s forces. They refused all political solutions, although they were granted the majority of seats in the government.

The rebels will be forced to negotiate – and accept a lower offer than was presented to them a month ago.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Today, however, they are hiding in Sanaa and some isolated cities in the north. Hudaydah port has come under heavy shelling by coalition forces to prevent insurgents from using it, and as a result, it is now closed.

Strategic cities lost
The capital Sanaa is now besieged; legitimate government forces, backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, are positioned a few kilometers away. These forces came from the province of Marib after taking that over and changing the course of the war. Whether these forces enter Sanaa or not, the situation in Yemen has completely changed for the rebels affiliated to Iran and Saleh. They lost the strategic cities of Aden in the south and Marib in central Yemen. Keeping what they already seized will now cost them dearly.

The United Nations and major countries are now officially dealing with Aden as the temporary capital of Yemen. They are collaborating with the government, which returned to Aden from its exile in Riyadh, led by Khaled Bahah. This is the only representative of the Yemeni people in terms of diplomatic norms and legal recognition. On the ground, the victories in Aden and Marib have encouraged regions to declare loyalty to the government, and against the rebels, without significant clashes. This is why Houthis are trying to lead propaganda battles on the remote northern Saudi border, to keep the morale of their militias and followers high.

Alternative capital
Even without Sanaa, the legitimate government is considered to be presiding over a country with Aden is the alternative capital, as well as the main port and with the only operational airport. Marib is the country’s oil center and vital economic force; without it, Saleh will have to pay for the cost of war and the salaries of his troops from his personal safe at home. Similarly to Saleh, the Houthis also lost their main source of money – and will have to wait until Iran pays them to finance their operations outside Saada.

With the support of Saudi Arabia and its allies, the government in Aden will neither need to run oil-production plants in Marib, nor reopen the 500-km pipeline to the Red Sea. It will deprive its opponents of the main refinery products, without which, they will run out of their stock of fuel and their forces will be impaired. They might also shut down the electricity plant that is also based in Marib. This power plant also provides Sanaa, 80km away, with electricity.

For this, the Yemeni government forces do not have to liberate the rest of Yemen, and can be content with their current victories. For they are already in control of the oil, money and power. The rebels will be forced to negotiate – and accept a lower offer than was presented to them a month ago.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat.
__________________________________________________________
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Last Update: Sunday, 20 September 2015 KSA 09:39 - GMT 06:39
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2015/09/20/Yemen-How-Saleh-and-the-Houthi-insurgency-came-to-a-dead-end.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Iran’s offer to help in Yemen: What’s the agenda?
Saturday, 19 September 2015

There has been a slight change in Iranian officials’ rhetoric and tone on the Yemen recently, for purely tactical reasons. This change was initiated because of the shift in Iran’s foreign policy regarding how to use “diplomacy” and words in order to achieve Tehran’s ideological, geopolitical and economic objectives.

This week saw the surprise news that Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, has offered his country’s assistance to other Arab states for “getting out of the crisis in Yemen”, according to BBC Persian.

Since the Yemen crisis began and through last week, Iranian officials, including the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the country’s state-controlled media outlets launched a war of rhetoric against several Arab countries – particularly Saudi Arabia. The countries were criticized for their involvement in Yemen.

Tehran’s struggle to tip the regional balance of power in its favor, promoting its ideological and sectarian values, and demonstrating its regional supremacy.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
What is intriguing about Tehran’s attitude is that the Islamic Republic views other countries’ engagement in Yemen – even those that share borders with Yemen and have justifiable security reasons to be concerned about the conflict – as interventions, irrelevant, and intrusive. Simultaneously, Iran sees its own role in Yemen as justifiable even though it does not share a border with Yemen and the conflict does not pose any security threat whatsoever to Tehran.

Iran sees the Yemen conflict as Tehran’s struggle to tip the regional balance of power in its favor, promoting its ideological and sectarian values, and demonstrating its regional supremacy over other Arab states in the Gulf.

Nevertheless, why is there a sudden diplomatic offer coming from Tehran?

Iranian leaders biting off more than they can chew
Iran goes to great lengths to present an image of economic power, however in reality Iranian leaders are hemorrhaging billions of dollars, with the approval of Mr. Khamenei, to maintain their proxies fighting and to keep two other governments in power – in Syria and Iraq.

For many years, the geopolitical, strategic, ideological and economic benefits of creating Shiite proxies across the region exceeded the financial, military and weaponry expenses that Tehran spent in doing so.

The trend has changed for the Islamic Republic. Iran’s foreign policies of supporting Shiite proxies and governments led to excesses and unintended consequences. Iran found itself and its proxies and allies fighting in several full-fledged wars against its strategic rivals, thus spending billions of dollars more in its efforts to support them.

Iranian leaders are bleeding economically and militarily. This is due to the country’s underlying ideological values, its unintended consequences, and Tehran’s foreign policy standards – to search for regional supremacy, support its proxies, and maintain its ideological and hegemonic ambitions. What is worse for Tehran is that this economic and military bleeding – in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon, etcetera – does not appear to be stopping anytime soon.

As a result, Iran is desperately pleading and manipulating, using words and rhetoric in an attempt to save its budget and military manpower. We should remember that Iran’s rhetoric and words worked to solidify the nuclear deal.

But do all of these words mean that Iran is going to actually alter its foreign policy toward Yemen and the Houthis?

Iran wants to have its proxies’ cake and eat it too
Iran’s Supreme Leader and the senior cadre of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are so shackled into the underlying ideological and deep-rooted institutional values of the Islamic Republic that they will not, and cannot, alter their position of supporting the Houthis.

They also cannot retract their support from other Shiite proxies and governments in the region.

Halting financial, advisory, intelligence, and political support to these proxies and governments could save Iranian leaders billions of dollars. If Tehran lessens its support to those proxies and states, they will be forced to make concessions and consequently the conflict will cease because as long as the Houthis and other proxies believe that the Islamic Republic is behind them, they have no incentive to stop the war.

Hence, Iran will benefit economically if it changes its foreign policies. But the underlying issue is that Tehran is so deeply entrenched in the well-established and instituted ideological, sectarian (Sunni vs Shia), and ethnic (Persians vs Arabs) norms that it is impossible for the government and Iranian leaders to change the character of the state.

After the success of the nuclear deal, Iranian leaders have learned that smiley faces and wielding a diplomatic tone can assist them.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
Iran’s ideological norms, which are pervasive throughout the country, includes the struggle to tip the regional balance of power against Arab states in the Gulf, which is an indispensable element and pillar of the Islamic Republic, primarily the Supreme Leader and IRGC.

The other reason behind Iran’s change of rhetoric is related to Tehran’s tactical shift in using verbal manipulation and “diplomacy” in order to achieve its ideological, geopolitical and economic objectives.

After experiencing the success of the nuclear deal, Iranian leaders have learned that smiley faces and wielding a diplomatic tone assisted them in paving the way to receive billions of dollars and have some of the crippling economic sanctions on their country lifted.

From the Iranian leaders’ perspective, a new rhetoric, tactical shift and different choice of words on Yemen might assist them in their attempt to save billions of dollars while simultaneously maintaining Tehran’s proxy. As a result Iran could become more empowered in Yemen, all while leaving Iran’s underlying foreign policy objectives, ideological principles and regional hegemonic ambitions intact.

____________
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is an Iranian-American scholar, author and U.S. foreign policy specialist. Rafizadeh is the president of the International American Council. He serves on the board of Harvard International Review at Harvard University and Harvard International Relations Council. He is a member of the Gulf 2000 Project at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs. Previously he served as ambassador to the National Iranian-American Council based in Washington DC. He can be contacted at: [email protected], or on Twitter: @MajidRafizadeh

Last Update: Saturday, 19 September 2015 KSA 10:40 - GMT 07:40

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2015/09/19/Iran-s-offer-to-help-in-Yemen-What-s-the-agenda-.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Drone strike kills 2 al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen

A U.S. drone strike has killed two suspected members of Al-Qaeda east of the Yemeni capital, a local official said on Tuesday. (File photo: AP)

By AFP, Marib, Yemen
Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A U.S. drone strike has killed two suspected members of Al-Qaeda east of the Yemeni capital, a local official said on Tuesday.

“Two members of Al-Qaeda were killed when a missile from a U.S. drone hit their vehicle” on the outskirts of the city of Marib during the night, the official told AFP.

Marib province has seen fierce fighting in recent weeks as forces loyal to exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi press an offensive against Shiite rebels with the support of Saudi-led troops.

Washington has waged a longstanding drone war against Al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based branch which it regards as the jihadist network’s most dangerous.

The strikes have continued alongside the Saudi-led military intervention which began in March against the Huthi insurgents who control the capital.

Al-Qaeda said in June that its leader in Yemen, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, had been killed by a US drone.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) controls parts of the vast southeastern province of Hadramawt, including the provincial capital Mukalla which they seized in April.

On Monday the jihadists angered Mukalla residents by razing tombs in an old cemetery, according to an official in the coastal city.

“Some of these tombs are for religious dignitaries and are 300 years old,” the official said.

Al-Qaeda and its jihadist rival, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group (ISIS), regard the reverence of tombs as tantamount to idolatry.

Al-Qaeda militants have also stirred discontent after selling 1,000 barrels of crude oil stocked in a port near Mukalla to a local merchant.

AQAP members in Mukalla released a statement defending their action, saying a local council made of dignitaries had been “incapable” of running the city.

Last Update: Tuesday, 22 September 2015 KSA 17:25 - GMT 14:25
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/09/22/Drone-strike-kills-2-Qaeda-suspects-in-Yemen-.html
 

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Yemen severs diplomatic ties with Iran: state media| Reuters

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran, state media reported.

State news agency Saba, citing an unidentified person at the Yemeni presidency, said Yemen "has taken the decision to expel the Iranian ambassador to Yemen, withdraw the Yemeni envoy to Tehran and close down its diplomatic mission in Iran."

The source told Saba that the move was a protest against Iran's "continued interference in the internal affairs of Yemen and violation of its national sovereignty," citing a recent detention of an Iranian ship loaded with weapons.

Saudi-led coalition forces, which have been battling the Houthis for the past six months to try to restore Hadi to power, said on Wednesday they had seized an Iranian fishing boat loaded with weapons intended for the Houthis.

Iran is an ally of the Houthi fighters who seized control of the country last year and forced the government of Hadi into exile.

Earlier on Friday state-owned Aden TV reported that the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has decided to break off diplomatic relations with Tehran, without elaborating or giving a source for its report.

Commenting on the Aden TV report, Yemeni government spokesman Rajeh Badi later said the cabinet had not decided yet to sever relations with Iran.

Bahrain, a member of the coalition, recalled its ambassador from Iran on Thursday, a day after it said its security forces discovered a large bomb-making factory and arrested a number of suspects linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Six months of civil war and hundreds of coalition air strikes have killed more than 5,400 people in Yemen, according to the United Nations, and exacerbated widespread hunger and suffering.

Rights groups have accused both sides in the war of carrying out indiscriminate attacks on residential areas. The Saudi-led coalition denies abuses and says it will acknowledge mistakes if and when it makes them.

The United Nations backed a Saudi-led resolution on Friday to support Yemen in setting up a national inquiry into human rights violations, having ditched an attempt led by the Netherlands to mandate an independent U.N. investigation.
 

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@Scorpion @Gasoline

What's happening in Yemen recently? Seems like Houthi's are reversing some of coalitions gains. They are able to sustain months long offensive and still go on offensive. This obviously means they are very well armed. Iran probably spent just as much money on them that they did on Hezbollah. Of course when it comes to Sunni groups like Hamas back in pre-2011 when they supported them, the support was very minimal.
 

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@Scorpion @Gasoline

What's happening in Yemen recently? Seems like Houthi's are reversing some of coalitions gains. They are able to sustain months long offensive and still go on offensive. This obviously means they are very well armed. Iran probably spent just as much money on them that they did on Hezbollah. Of course when it comes to Sunni groups like Hamas back in pre-2011 when they supported them, the support was very minimal.
Nothing significant is happening. Saudi Arabia has recently announced its last military phased in Yemen. Almost 80 per cent of Yemen is under control. They are preparing for to retake the Capital Sana'a and move on from there.
 

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Nothing significant is happening. Saudi Arabia has recently announced its last military phased in Yemen. Almost 80 per cent of Yemen is under control. They are preparing for to retake the Capital Sana'a and move on from there.
Well brother let's wait for a moment and think about it, there is no plan to retake capital. Houthi's are regaining what they lost in the south currently. In the East they aren't doing many offensives or simply not capable. I don't know, but point is it is better for us not to be optimistic. We can have high morale but should be realistic in this matter. Arab States need to mimic Iran's strategy which is supporting militias. The problem is Arabs fear they can't control Sunni militias. But reality is if we don't begin supporting Sunni militias then the Iranians will have advantage and sadly may achieve what they want in Yemen. Let them mock and laugh at us all they want. Let's ignore them and start initiative. If our state institutions don't begin seeing it as Sunni Arab struggle to defend all of us from Iran, it's supporters and select Western nations wanting to harm us then we will have a split like we do now that will continue. Which is the Sunni militias on their own, Arab states on their own. In end both Sunni militias and Arab governments are in lose-lose situation.
 

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Well brother let's wait for a moment and think about it, there is no plan to retake capital. Houthi's are regaining what they lost in the south currently. In the East they aren't doing many offensives or simply not capable. I don't know, but point is it is better for us not to be optimistic. We can have high morale but should be realistic in this matter. Arab States need to mimic Iran's strategy which is supporting militias. The problem is Arabs fear they can't control Sunni militias. But reality is if we don't begin supporting Sunni militias then the Iranians will have advantage and sadly may achieve what they want in Yemen. Let them mock and laugh at us all they want. Let's ignore them and start initiative. If our state institutions don't begin seeing it as Sunni Arab struggle to defend all of us from Iran, it's supporters and select Western nations wanting to harm us then we will have a split like we do now that will continue. Which is the Sunni militias on their own, Arab states on their own. In end both Sunni militias and Arab governments are in lose-lose situation.
Where are they gaining? They were trying to open a new front and they failed. The resistance get supplied everyday from the collation but you can't pour a lot of weaponry into their hands either. There is no need to talk about military plans openly. What matter is what is happening in the ground. Houthis are like Iranians. Two side of the same coin. They only use media to boost up their moral. Iran has been caught pants down video tapping scenes from Syria and Iraq and then claim that they were taking from Yemen. In fact Houthi media is broadcasting from Iran. Not to ahead of ourselves here lets wait and see.
 

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@Scorpion @Gasoline

What's happening in Yemen recently? Seems like Houthi's are reversing some of coalitions gains. They are able to sustain months long offensive and still go on offensive. This obviously means they are very well armed. Iran probably spent just as much money on them that they did on Hezbollah. Of course when it comes to Sunni groups like Hamas back in pre-2011 when they supported them, the support was very minimal.
Bullshit. Don't listen to the media that support the rebels. The coalition is preparing to liberate the capital Sana'a, but they don't want to do it in 2 or 3 weeks because they want the rebels to be completely exhausted, so they can't do any surprises in future days. By extending the time of the war along with continuing the siege, the rebels will run out of ammo and then the resistance will be much less than before. Let the rebels to do their best and use their ATGMs, missiles, men and ammo. Then we'll see what they can do. 0O\




New batch of the Sudanese forces arrived to Aden few hours ago : :---~


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Yemen conflict: Exiled President Hadi returns to Aden - BBC News

Yemen's exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has returned to the southern city of Aden to supervise a new offensive against the rebel-held area of Taiz, officials say.

It is not clear how long Mr Hadi intends to remain in the country.

He made his first visit to Aden in September, having fled the country six months earlier in the face of advances by Houthi rebels.

At least 5,600 people have been killed in the past eight months of fighting.

A Saudi-led Arab coalition launched an air campaign in March, followed by a ground offensive, to push back the Houthis and reinstate Mr Hadi's government.

Officials say the president will be staying at the Maashiq presidential palace in the central Crater district of Aden.

His arrival comes as forces loyal to him are reported to have made advances in the south-west, surrounding the city of Taiz.

About 45 fighters from both sides were killed on Monday, medical sources quoted by the Reuters news agency said.

Residents said coalition warplanes bombed Houthi targets in the city several times on Tuesday.

The president's last attempt to return to his country was in September after six months of exile in Saudi Arabia. He was forced to return to Riyadh after Aden came under rebel attack.

He first fled Aden in late March as Shia Houthi rebels advanced on the city.

UN-brokered peace talks on the Yemen crisis are planned for later this month.
 

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