Despite Saudi Airstrikes, Yemen Rebels Enter Aden

Saudi-led airstrikes did not stop Yemen’s Houthi rebels entering the city of Aden on Thursday where militias did battle with supporters of the internationally-recognized president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi.

Aden is Hadi’s last stronghold but the leader himself has stayed in Egypt after attending an Arab League summit there this weekend.

The news agency Reuters reports that the fall of the southern port city would be more than a symbolic blow to Riyadh. Read more “Despite Saudi Airstrikes, Yemen Rebels Enter Aden”

Warships Shell Aden, Saudis’ Yemen Strategy Becomes Clearer

Warships shelled Houthi fighters and troops loyal to former Yemeni strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh as they advanced on the southern port city of Aden on Monday, the news agency Reuters reported.

The vessels, likely Egyptian, were the first navy units taking part in the conflict since Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against opponents of Yemen’s internationally-recognized president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, late on Wednesday.

Egyptian military and security officials told the Associated Press last week that a ground invasion of Yemen was imminent once bombardments had sufficiently weakened the Houthis and Saleh loyalists. Egyptian and Saudi warships deployed to the Bab-el-Mandeb strait the following day to prevent the waterway from falling under rebel control.

Forty kilometers wide at its narrowest, the strait sees large volumes of oil shipped through it every day bound for the Suez Canal. Read more “Warships Shell Aden, Saudis’ Yemen Strategy Becomes Clearer”

Houthis, Saudis Clash on Border, Arabs Deploy Navy

Saudi forces clashed with Houthi rebels on the kingdom’s border with Yemen on Friday after a second night of Arab airstrikes in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital.

Egyptian and Saudi warships deployed to the Bab-el-Mandeb strait the same day to stop the Houthis taking control of the waterway. Forty kilometers wide at its narrowest, the strait sees large volumes of oil shipped through it every day bound for the Suez Canal.

Egyptian military and security officials told the Associated Press on Thursday a ground invasion of Yemen was imminent once bombardments had sufficiently weakened the Houthis as well as forces loyal to the country’s former strongman, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Read more “Houthis, Saudis Clash on Border, Arabs Deploy Navy”

Egyptian-Saudi Invasion of Yemen Imminent: Officials

Egyptian military and security officials told the Associated Press on Thursday that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states plan to invade Yemen once airstrikes have sufficiently weakened the Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the country’s former strongman, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

They said the assault will be by ground from Saudi Arabia and by landings on Yemen’s Red and Arabian Sea coasts.

The officials did not say when the operation would start nor did they specify the number of troops likely to be involved. Read more “Egyptian-Saudi Invasion of Yemen Imminent: Officials”

Airstrikes Deepen Iranian-Saudi Proxy War in Yemen

Saudi Arabia escalated its proxy war with rival Iran in Yemen on Wednesday when it launched airstrikes against Shia rebels who have driven the country’s internationally-recognized president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, into hiding.

Al Jazeera reported that the strikes targeted the presidential palace as well as police and military headquarters in Sana’a where loud, house-shaking explosions resonated in the night. Read more “Airstrikes Deepen Iranian-Saudi Proxy War in Yemen”

Houthis Press South, Analysts Say Assault on Aden Unlikely

Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Wednesday seized a military base some 55 kilometers from Aden, the city where the country’s internationally-recognized president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, has holed up since February. They also made territorial gains in the Al Hawtah District in the southwestern Lahij Governorate.

The same day, warplanes attacked the area where Hadi is residing for the second time in a week.

As last week, when a plane first targeted Hadi’s hideout, it was unclear if the Houthi or supporters of his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, were behind the attack. Read more “Houthis Press South, Analysts Say Assault on Aden Unlikely”

Saudis Vow Measures Against Iran’s “Aggression” in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister warned on Monday the kingdom would respond to the “aggression” of Iranian support for an uprising in neighboring Yemen, saying “necessary measures” could be taken if diplomacy failed.

Prince Saud bin Faisal Al Saud was speaking alongside Britain’s visiting foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, in Riyadh. Hammond said, “None of us wants to see military action.”

Earlier in the day, the foreign minister of Yemen’s internationally-recognized government had called on nearby Arab Gulf states to intervene. “They’re expanding in territory, occupying airports and cities, attacking Aden with planes,” Riyadh Yassen said, referring to the Shia Houthi rebels who first seized the capital, Sana’a, late last year.

Yassen also told Al Jazeera that Iran was behind the Houthi takeover. Read more “Saudis Vow Measures Against Iran’s “Aggression” in Yemen”

Yemen Power Struggle Worsens, Fighting in Aden

The power struggle between Yemen’s internationally-recognized president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, and Shia rebels from the north of the country worsened on Thursday with clashes in the port city of Aden reportedly killing thirteen.

Hadi fled to Aden after the Houthis dissolved parliament in Sana’a last month. They first stormed the capital city in September and had held Hadi under house arrest.

Forces loyal to Hadi fought their way into Aden’s airport on Thursday and wrestled a nearby military base from a renegade officer, officials said. An unidentified warplane attacked Hadi’s residence.

It was unclear if the forces opposing Hadi were Houthis or supporters of his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Read more “Yemen Power Struggle Worsens, Fighting in Aden”

Saleh Loyalists Abandon Yemen’s Hadi

A power struggle between Yemen’s internationally-recognized president and his strongman predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, could benefit Houthi rebels who took over the capital, Sana’a, last month.

President Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi fled to the port city of Aden in February where he established a rival government. Neighboring Arab Gulf states and the United States back Hadi while Iran supports the Houthis, a Shia group from the north of Yemen.

Despite the international support, Hadi’s regime appears to be fracturing. Protests on Thursday called on Saleh to return. At least three people were killed in clashes between Hadi opponents and supporters in Aden.

On Tuesday, Saleh, who was forced to step down in 2012 after more than two decades in power, urged Hadi to resign and go into exile. Read more “Saleh Loyalists Abandon Yemen’s Hadi”

Iran Rushes to Help Consolidate Houthi Rule in Yemen

Iran is rushing to support the Shia rebels who took over Yemen’s government last month. A delegation of leaders from the Houthi group visited Tehran earlier this week for talks while Iranian medical supplies arrived in Sana’a a day after the two regimes signed an aviation agreement.

Whereas Iran previously denied claims from Arab Gulf states that it backed the Houthi rebels, its media have openly celebrated the acquisition of another “ally” in recent days. Read more “Iran Rushes to Help Consolidate Houthi Rule in Yemen”