Following Houthi denials, Hadi loyalists insist they control Yemen’s Aden

Published July 23rd, 2015 - 01:00 GMT
Fighters loyal to exiled Yemeni President Hadi said Thursday they had full control of Aden, despite Houthi claims to the contrary.
Fighters loyal to exiled Yemeni President Hadi said Thursday they had full control of Aden, despite Houthi claims to the contrary.

Military officials insist forces loyal to exiled President Abd Rabbou Mansour Hadi have full control of the southern port city Aden, after ousting Shiite Houthi rebels from their stronghold, AP reported.  

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AP that the Saudi-backed loyalist forces installed checkpoints around the city Thursday to rid the area of any remaining rebel fighters. 

Saudi-led airstrikes continued Thursday north of Aden, paving a path for pro-Hadi troops to advance outside of the city and secure its control.

The pro-Hadi fighters’ claims come after Houthi rebels denied earlier in the day that loyalists had full control over Aden.  Mohammad al-Bukhaiti, a senior member of the Houthi movement’s political bureau, told Iranian media outlet Press TV that the Shiite fighters maintained control over areas of the port city, despite ongoing Saudi-led airstrikes.  

Last week, after launching a major offensive on the southern port city, forces loyal to Hadi seized Aden's airport, allowing a number of Saudi-exiled ministers to return to Yemen.  

A coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia launched an airstrike campaign across Yemen in late March after rebel Houthi fighters captured swathes of territory. 

The heavy airstrikes, as well as fierce fighting on the ground, have devastated the impoverished Gulf country, leaving their wake an urgent humanitarian crisis.  The UN estimated in late April that some 50% of Yemenis are in dire need of basic humanitarian aid, including food and safe drinking water. 


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