UAE-Backed Forces Seize Aden Airport From Saudi-Backed Troops

Hadi: UAE Backing Southern Yemen Secessionists

Further complicating the Saudi War in Yemen, allies backed by two of the GCC nations involved in the invasion, Saudi Araba and the United Arab Emirates,, are now engaging in open fighting in the “interim” capital city of Aden, with UAE-backed forces seizing the Aden airport, killing one soldier.

The airport was, before that, under the control of the Hadi government, the Saudi Arabia-backed faction for whom the invasion was initially launched. President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned in January 2015, but Saudi Arabia has vowed to reinstall him in power, though so far they control only the southern half of the country.

That’s where things get particularly complicated, as the territory split in Yemen is now roughly in line with the old split between North and South Yemen, and there are growing secessionist movements within South Yemen,, and they are eager to just call the war over, setting up an independent state out of Aden, and let North Yemen stay in the hands of the Houthi movements.

Hadi opposes that, both because an independent South Yemen might not accept him as its ruler, and because he’s still hoping the Saudis conquer the whole country for him. Hadi accused the UAE of backing the secessionist movement. Hadi’s supporters suggested the UAE envisioned being given permission to set up ports across South Yemen to expand its regional influence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of