Pro-Hadi fighters on way to capture Yemen's Aden

Fighters loyal to former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi backed by Saudi-led coalition launch offensive to oust Houthis and capture all of Aden

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

In efforts to wrest back the whole of Aden from Houthi forces, militiamen loyal to exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi backed by Saudi-led coalition air strikes have initiated an offensive with armoured vehicles.

Forces loyal to President Hadi captured Aden international airport from the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on Tuesday. The district of Khormaksar also fell under the control of pro-government militiamen.

The fighting in Aden has been the biggest setback for the Houthis in more than three months of war.

"Aden International Airport and Khormaksar have been cleared of Houthi and Saleh elements by armed forces backing Yemen's legitimacy and the popular resistance forces, in coordination with and with direct support by the coalition," Yemeni government spokesperson Rajeh Badi said.

He said that pro-government forces are anticipating that Aden will be entirely under their control in upcoming days.

"The fighting in Aden began in the morning as the forces approached Aden from different positions," said Ali al Ahmadi, spokesperson for the Southern Popular Resistance, which is defending Aden from the Houthis.

"After violent clashes that continued for hours the forces were able to enter the airport and Badr base and they killed a large number of the militias," he added.

A ceasefire brokered by the United Nations allowed the delivery of aid to the city, which has been deprived of food and medicine.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it managed to deliver some medical supplies to Aden, but food rations were delayed.

US President Barack Obama and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud discussed the conflict in a telephone call late on Tuesday night.

"The President and the King also spoke about the urgency of stopping the fighting in Yemen and the importance of ensuring that assistance can reach Yemenis on all sides of the conflict through international humanitarian channels," said a White House readout of the call.

Around 20 million Yemenis are suffering from a lack of water and a million people have been displaced from their homes as a result of the armed conflict.

In the city of Aden alone, more than 858 Yemeni civilians were killed, including 259 children, and 6,879 others were wounded in the first 102 days of the conflict.

More than 3,000 people, including 1,500 civilians, have been killed in the conflict since March, according to the UN.

An international aid agency said on Tuesday that a fuel shortage in Yemen may cause more deaths than the ongoing conflict between the country’s government and Houthi rebels, which erupted again after a supposedly one-week-long humanitarian truce brokered by the United Nations.

Oxfam, an international charity providing humanitarian aid in Yemen, has said that the fighting and fuel import restriction has affected food deliveries, health services and water supply all over the country which has led to a humanitarian crises.  

TRTWorld and agencies