Forces loyal to the pro-Saudi “government-in-exile” led by former Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has expanded its holdings in the key southern port city of Aden today, with reports that they’d seized some of the surrounding area, backed by Saudi airstrikes.
Aden is an enormously important port, and the former capital of South Yemen. Officials from the Saudi bloc say that they intend to set up Aden as the new seat of government for Hadi’s forces, but that they will also eventually oust the Houthis from the rest of the country, including the capital city of Sanaa.
Officials have presented the gains in Aden as a dramatic shift in the war, after three months of airstrikes didn’t lead to much real change in territory. The Aden takeover began amid the UN-brokered ceasefire, when a surprise offensive gained them considerable territory in several neighborhoods.
Since then, the fighting has centered majorly around Aden, and while territory still isn’t changing hands much anywhere else, the port city and the surrounding area does seem very much still in play. The Shi’ite Houthis do not appear to be totally conceding the area, though they have downplayed the need to hold the city itself, saying their only interest was in keeping al-Qaeda out of it.
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