Yemeni government to remain in Aden following attack on HQ

Published October 8th, 2015 - 07:19 GMT

The Western-backed government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi will not be leaving the southern port city of Aden despite the recent attack on its headquarters that killed and injured dozens, a minister told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The government will remain in Aden and tomorrow [Wednesday] the council of ministers will discuss the situation there,” Nayef Al-Bakri, Yemen’s minister of youth and sports, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

At least 11 Yemeni and four Emirati soldiers were killed Tuesday in three coordinated bombings targeting Al-Qasr hotel, the government temporary headquarters in Aden, and two military sites belonging to Arab coalition forces who have been fighting the Houthis in Yemen for more than six months.

Tuesday’s bombings were the first to target Hadi’s government since last month when it returned from exile to Aden where it established a temporary seat. The government condemned the attacks which it described as “terrorist,” stressing that it will continue its duties despite the security challenges.

Khaled Bahah, Yemen’s vice president and prime minister, and all other ministers present were unharmed by the attack which was claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) [Daesh] militants.

Meanwhile, volunteer government loyalists, known as the Popular Resistance, accused Saleh’s followers of staging the bombings against the government headquarters and the Emirati military site in Aden.

“Targeting a site belonging to the Emirati forces and the government headquarters in Aden with car bombs is a continuation of the terror scenario which ousted president Saleh began 25 years ago,” Ali Sahyef Al-Hariri, a Popular Resistance spokesman, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

The recapture of the strategic Bab El-Mandeb strait last week by government loyalists and Saudi-led coalition forces, the spokesman said, “has pained the militias of the Houthi movement and Saleh and prompted them to retaliate.”

He said: “The militias’ inability to enter into military confrontations on the ground after their successive defeats and their ejection from Bab El-Mandeb made them resort to using their terrorist elements to retaliate through carrying out suicide operations and car bombs.”

Commenting on an online statement in which ISIS militants purportedly claimed Tuesday’s attacks, the spokesman said: “Saleh is using ISIS’s name after years of using Al-Qaeda’s name.”

“This terrorist act is the latest in a series of acts of terrorism, murder, and destruction suffered by [Yemen’s] south at the hands of the Sana’a regime,” Brig. Gen. Thabit Hussein Saleh, a Yemeni military expert, said, referring to an alliance of Houthis and Saleh supporters who took over the capital in September of 2014.

By Arafat Madabish

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material


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