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Yemen: UAE-backed militias clash with Saudi-backed combatants

UAE backed forces in Yemen, 16 June 2016 [Facebook]
UAE backed forces in Yemen, 16 June 2016 [Facebook]

Separate militia groups, one backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the other backed by Saudi Arabia, have clashed in Yemen, where both countries are part of a coalition aiming to end the military coup in war-torn Yemen, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

“Heavy clashes erupted between the forces of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), backed by the UAE, and the Giants Brigades, backed by Saudi Arabia, in the governorate of Lahij in the south of Yemen,” a government military source told Anadolu Agency.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed: “The STC forces set up military sites in an area disputed with the Saudi-backed forces and this led to clashes.”

READ: Senior commander defects from UAE-backed forces to Yemen’s Houthis

According to the source, the conflicts took place near Al-Anad military airbase in Lahij and resulted in deaths and injuries, however, no numbers have been revealed.

Seven militants from the forces backed by Saudi Arabia were arrested, the source noted.

Meanwhile, Maher Al-Halmi, the military spokesman of Al-Anad military airbase, confirmed that his forces confronted the Giant Brigades and pushed them to pull back from near the airbase.

On his Facebook page, Al-Halmi posted: “The Giant Brigades attempted to control the base and manage the route connecting the governorates of Ad Dali and Aden.”

The governorate of Lahij has been witnessing clashes between the Giant Brigades, supported by armed tribesmen, and the STC forces since the start of this year.

MBS and MBZ bloody Yemeni war - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

MBS and MBZ bloody Yemeni war – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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Middle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUAEYemen
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