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Saudi-coalition takes over Yemen’s Al-Mahrah ports

Image of Saudi soldiers [Arab News/Facebook]
Saudi soldiers [Arab News/Facebook]

The Saudi-led coalition has taken over the airport of Al-Mahrah governorate in eastern Yemen, Al-Yemen Today reported.

The 137th Yemeni Army Brigade based in Al-Mahrah governorate prevented the Saudi-led coalition from taking over Al-Mahrah’s airport on Monday, triggering tensions with both military forces.

The Al-Mahrah security committee and tribal leaders then provided access to the Saudi-led coalition on the condition that it is not used as a military base to launch attacks.

Al-Mahrah security forces remain in control of the ports, requiring the Saudi-led coalition to coordinate activities with them.

The Saudi-led coalition has also taken control over Al-Ghaydah, the capital city of Al-Mahrah based in south-eastern Yemen.

Read: Saudi-led coalition opens Yemen’s Aden port

Eastern Yemen has been a major attraction point for the alleged smuggling of weapons by Iran to the Houthi group and factions loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Saudi-led coalition was invited to enter the Yemen civil war by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in March 2015. Its main goals were to neutralise threats posed by the Houthi group emanating from northern Yemen.

Al-Mahrah governorate, which borders Oman, has remained out of sight of the civil war in Yemen which began in late 2014 when the Iranian backed Houthi group took over swathes of territory. Oman has not intervened in the conflict but has offered to mediate between the parties.

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