A southern separatist militiaman stops cars on September 4 at a checkpoint in Yemen’s port city of Aden. (Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP/Getty Images)

Riyadh Confronts Latest Fly in Yemen’s Ointment: Southern Separatists

Saudi Arabia, at the head of a coalition seeking to wrest control of Yemen from Iran-backed Houthi rebels and restore the embattled government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, has taken on a new foe, at least in words. In a statement issued on Thursday, the kingdom demanded that southern separatists who have been part of the anti-Houthi coalition relinquish control of Aden, a port city to which Hadi’s government fled after being forced from the capital Sanaa in 2014. The separatists are seen as being allied with the United Arab Emirates, which since 2015 has been a major partner in the coalition. But the UAE, apparently frustrated over the conduct and thrust of the fighting, has been withdrawing its military assets from Yemen. With this anchor of the coalition all but gone, the separatists made a surprise move in August against government troops in Aden and have been digging in, returning their separatist agenda to the forefront of the country’s turbulence. In their statement, the Saudis rejected the “new reality,” which they said would be “dealt with decisively.”

Personalize Your News
Upgrade your experience by choosing the storylines that matter most to you.
Click on the icon to add the category to your Personalize news
Browse Storylines and Topics
Help us deliver the independent journalism the world needs
Donate
Mideast Daily News Email - Get the latest headlines and stories
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.
Mideast Daily News Email - Get the latest headlines and stories
By subscribing, you agree to The Media Line terms of use and privacy policy.