In Yemen, anti-rebel forces in south take over Aden airport

Before the outbreak of fighting, Yemen received most of its fuel and 90 percent of its food via imports brought by sea, but Saudi Arabia has led a blockade of Yemeni ports in hopes to cut off supplies to rebels.

Hadi subsequently fled to Riyadh and Saudi Arabia and allied mainly Sunni Arab states launched an air campaign against the rebels, who they fear are backed by regional rival Iran.

Hadi was personally supervising “Operation Golden Arrow for the Liberation of Aden”, said his chief of staff, Mohammed Marem.

Aden airport had been under the control of the Houthi Shiite rebels since March 25.

The Huthis and their allies later seized the presidential palace and Aden’s main commercial port.

The coalition has dismissed the ceasefire, saying it did not receive a request from Hadi’s government to halt attacks, while the leader of the Huthi rebels said he did not expect the truce to take hold.

“The fighting in Aden began in the morning as the forces approached Aden from different positions”, said Ali Al Ahmadi, spokesman for the Southern Popular Resistance, which is defending Aden from the Houthis. He said the airstrikes were targeting Houthi positions only and that the coalition was not obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Fighting had intensified after the northern rebels overran the capital unopposed in September and went on to advance on several regions, including Aden where Hadi took refuge after escaping house arrest in Sanaa.

A blaze that erupted at an oil refinery in Aden after being hit by rockets was raging Tuesday. There were conflicting claims about which side caused the fire.

“We have not lost hope and discussions are ongoing”, Dujarric said.

“Frankly, there has not be a fundamental change on the ground that would allow aid disembarkment in Aden”, said Abeer Etefa, a spokeswoman of the U.N.’s World Food Program.

Saudi Arabia has been bombarding different areas in Yemen since March 26 without any authorization from the United Nations and heedless of global calls for the cessation of its deadly airstrikes against the impoverished country. Ahmed Nasser, a resident who lives nearby said he heard the explosion and stayed indoors, fearing more strikes.


p style=”text-align: center;”>Officials Say Yemen Fighting Rages on Despite Declared Truce - The New York


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