An unidentified Mig 23 aircraft has attacked the presidential palace in Aden, agencies reported on Thursday. The attack occurred just hours after the army and the popular committee loyal to President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi had regained control over Aden International Airport and reopened it.
Locals said that anti-aircraft guns opened fire at the fighter jet and smoke was seen rising from the area. A presidential aide confirmed that Hadi had been evacuated to a safe place but has not left the country.
Forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh forced the closure of the airport after clashes left at least thirteen people dead and 13 wounded, security sources said. A Special Forces unit led by renegade General Abdel Hafez Al-Saqqaf stormed the airport perimeter on Thursday before being repelled by Hadi's own troops.
A military source told the AFP news agency that Saqqaf's soldiers were forced to retreat to their camp to the north of the airport after being subjected to heavy shelling.
"What happened today is a clear message to the whole world that the coup and the traitors who support it reject any solutions and are not ready for dialogue in order to get Yemen out of the current crisis," commented Hadi. The president took refuge in Aden last month after fleeing from house arrest under the Houthi militias which have taken control of the state capital, Sana'a.