UAE-backed separatists have taken control of all military camps belonging to Saudi-backed militants loyal to ex-Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the restive port city of Aden.
According to a Hadi government official, separatists on Saturday captured the last stronghold of the Saudi-allied forces in Aden as fighting raged between nominal allies who have turned on each other.
Residents said that the battles initially centered on the all-but empty presidential palace and in a neighborhood, where self-proclaimed interior minister Ahmed al-Maysari lives.
Pro-Hadi officials said the separatists also took over Maysari’s house, which he had already vacated.
The separatists and Saudi-led militia have been engaged in fierce fighting in the port city, a gateway for commercial and aid supplies, for the past four days.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres voiced concerns about the violent clashes, calling on rival parties to cease hostilities and “engage in an inclusive dialogue to resolve their differences and address the legitimate concerns of all Yemenis.”
According to the officials, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief reporters, dozens of people, both combatants and civilians, have been killed in the fighting in Aden this week, AP reported.
At least eight civilians were killed on Friday, medical sources said.
The Norwegian Refugee Council and Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) said the battles had trapped civilians in their homes with dwindling supplies of food and water.
The aid group said prolonged fighting in Aden could impact efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis gripping the rest of the Arab country.
The Aden clashes broke out on Wednesday after southern separatists accused a political party allied to Hadi of complicity in last week’s retaliatory missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement on a military parade.
The militant infighting in Aden has exposed splits in the Saudi-led coalition.