Yemeni resistance fighters storm Aden air base

Pro-government resistance forces in Yemen storm key air base north of port of Aden, military sources say

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People seek cover from rising dust as a Qatari military cargo plane carrying aid lands at the international airport of Yemen's southern port city of Aden August 1, 2015.

Updated Aug 4, 2015

Troops loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi stormed the strategic southern air base in Aden, Al Anad, 60km (37 miles) from the city, pushing hundreds of Iranian-backed Houthi militants outside the base.

Anad had previously housed US troops overseeing drone attacks on Al Qaeda in Yemen.

The Houthi rebels in Yemen have witnessed severe losses in the recent weeks, last month they have been pushed entirely out of Aden, their former stronghold.

Heavy ammunition and armoury were flowing into Aden on Monday, troops loyal to Hadi used them in their campaign, activists argue the origin of the military supplies in the United Arab Emirates, an active member of the Saudi coalition.

Coalition warplanes were reportedly providing air cover.

This comes on the same day Abdulmalik al Houthi, the grande leader of the Iranian backed militias in Yemen said the rebels would welcome a new attempt in a political solution between the warring parties.

A UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva have withered in June. "We would welcome any [mediation] effort by a neutral party -- Arab or international," he said.

"A political settlement is still possible," Houthi said in a speech broadcast by the rebels' Al Massira television channel late on Sunday.

The Houthi fighters have withdrawn from the key city of Aden in mid July against resistance fighters loyal to the president Hadi. "The advance made by the enemy in Aden will collapse," he said.

"It is a short-term situation which we will overcome despite all the money of Saudi Arabia."

Houthi accused his foes of resorting to alliances with ISIS and Israel in their assault on the southern port city.

Houthi also urged his followers to continue fighting the Saudi-led coalition in spite of calling for a probable peace treaty, "Continue and move in your resistance. You are in a strong position. And you are on the way to win," he said. "We are in a battle, a great battle, in which we must use all our efforts."

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has responded to Hadi to “save Yemen” from Houthi aggression, so the military operations started in late March of this year.

The UN has declared the situation in Yemen to be a level-three humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale, after about 80 percent of the country’s population fell into dire need of humanitarian aid.

Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.

A ship carrying enough UN aid to feed 180,000 people for a month docked at the Yemeni port of Aden last week, having previously being prevented from doing so for almost four weeks, World Food Programme spokesman Peter Smerdon said.

"It's the first WFP chartered ship to berth in the port since the conflict erupted in late March," Smerdon said. "We have additional ships chartered which are on standby heading towards Aden carrying more food and fuel."

TRTWorld and agencies