SANAA, Yemen: Heavy fighting flared up again in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on Monday after clashes the day before killed 12 people and wounded over 130 in violence that exposed cracks within the Saudi-led alliance fighting Yemen’s Shiite rebels in the country’s north.
In the Aden district of Khor Maksar, pro-government forces and separatists deployed tanks and exchanged heavy gunfire as shops and schools remained closed for a second day. Snipers were seen on rooftops and fighting spread to the nearby Crater district.
The clashes left the two districts bitterly divided.
Violence first erupted on Sunday when a deadline issued by the separatists for the government to resign expired.
The separatists are backed by the United Arab Emirates, a key partner in the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government in its war since 2015 against the country’s rebels, known as Houthis.
Yemen’s Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar described the separatists’ move as a coup while others pointed at the UAE’s role in unleashing forces trained and armed by the Gulf Arab state to attack Yemeni government’s offices and their forces and allies.
Coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki said late Sunday the coalition’s priority is to deliver humanitarian aid, declining to comment on the violence.
Meanwhile, the international aid organization OXFAM warned of violence and called for a cease-fire. It pointed to the escalation in fighting elsewhere in the country, including Taiz where it was forced to shut down its office temporarily.
Yemen has been caught in a devastating war that has left over 10,000 civilians dead and 2 million people displaced. The United Nations says that Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.—AP