Yemen’s Aden Airport Shut After Being Overrun by Local Fighters

UAE Troops in Charge of Airport Flee as Disgruntled Allies Force Their Way In

The airport in the Yemeni port city of Aden, the temporary capital city of pro-Saudi territory, is officially closed today for an indefinite period of time after disgruntled local fighters, supposedly allied to the Saudi coalition, forced their way in.

United Arab Emirates troops, the ones who were in charge of guarding the airport, fled in the face of this sudden push by the local fighters. There is no official comment from the fighters now in the airport, and the only comments beyond the airport being closed came from anonymous officials.

It’s not totally clear what the local fighters’ beef with the coalition is, or if there are even any negotiations ongoing with the group. The pro-Saudi government has historically rejected negotiations with local factions, at least publicly.

The coalition initially seized the airport from the Shi’ite Houthis last summer, and it has been their primary airport since then, for ferrying the exiled “government” back and forth between Aden and Saudi territory.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.