Coalition reinforcements arrive in Aden amid rising security concerns
ADEN // A fresh wave of Saudi-led coalition forces arrived in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Wednesday morning, bringing with them dozens of armoured military vehicles amid rising concerns over security in the temporary capital.
“I saw dozens of troops and a hundred armoured military vehicles arrive at the port this morning and most of them seem to be Emirati,” one of the guards in Aden’s Al Boraiqa port told The National. “I think that these forces will help boost security in Aden.”
The director of Aden’s Al Boraiqa district, Hani Al Yazidi, confirmed the arrival of armoured military vehicles and additional coalition forces, but did not give any more details.
Aden was liberated from Houthi rebel fighters in July by pro-government resistance fighters backed by a Saudi-led coalition of mainly Arab states that includes the UAE. The coalition is seeking to restore the internationally recognised government led by president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.
Since then the city has served as a temporary capital, with the real capital, Sanaa, still under the control of the Houthis. But security in Aden remains a concern. Al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate and ISIL have claimed a series of attacks in the city since last October and earlier this month the authorities imposed a night-time curfew.
Shortly after the arrival of the coalition reinforcements, two unidentified armed men shot dead the army officer responsible for security at Aden Free Zone, the city’s manufacturing hub, in Al Mansoura district, a local commander of the Southern Resistance said.
Abdul Nasser Salem Sa’ad said resistance fighters shot and injured one of the attackers and were able to arrest him. The other attacker fled.
Yemeni vice president and prime minister Khalid Bahah, who arrived back in Aden this week, met with military representatives from the coalition, including the UAE, on Wednesday to discuss the security situation in the city.
Mr Bahah said the “terrorists” trying to bring chaos to Aden would not prevail against the “security plans and the hard work” of the Yemeni and coalition security forces.
A day earlier, Mr Bahah met with the UAE’s Special Envoy to Yemen, Ali Muslih Al Ahbabi, in Aden. Mr Bahah thanked the UAE for all of its efforts, including the humanitarian relief work being carried out by the Emirates Red Crescent and Khalifa Foundation in several provinces.
The two men discussed developments on the ground in the country, as well as plans for relief, security and reconstruction in areas liberated from Houthi control, according to the UAE’s state news agency, Wam.
Mr Bahah renewed his government’s resolve to regain control of all provinces in Yemen through peaceful means, Wam said.
Meanwhile, president Hadi was expected to leave Yemen soon to visit several countries for discussions on furthering the peace process, Yemeni government spokesperson Rageh Badi said.
“In addition, Hadi will leave Aden as a kind of precaution, as it is dangerous for both he and the prime minister to stay in Aden,” Mr Badi said.
The Saudi interior ministry said on Wednesday that a Saudi soldier had been killed in cross-border shelling from Yemen.
He was killed on Tuesday in a strike on a border guards’ observation post in the Harth district of Jazan in the kingdom’s south.
Around 90 civilians and soldiers have been killed in shelling and skirmishes in Saudi border regions since March when the coalition began air and ground action in Yeme.
Updated: January 28, 2016 04:00 AM