After Capturing Aden International Airport on TuesdaySaudi and UAE-backed Yemeni troops and fighters loyal to exiled president Hadi today regained control of Crater, the commercial hub of Aden, and the neighboring Mualla after defeating Huthi and allied forces in fierce fighting, AP reported.
The anti-Huthi forces, backed by Saudi-UAE-led coalition, on Tuesday captured the strategic Aden International Airport, which could now be used as a major hub for reinforcement and resupply of those forces. Footage aired on TV showed workers clearing the runway as pro-Hadi government troops secured it.
The loss of Aden airport and the two major neighborhoods are serious blow to the Huthis, and their first major defeat in the conflict that started in September when the Huthi insurgents stormed the capital Sanaa and began their march south.
In a statement to Huthi-controlled Saba news agency, a spokesman said the rebels will be fighting back. Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri, the spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, praised the “heroic efforts” of Yemeni fighters. Gen. Asiri said that the operation against the Huthis has been successful so far because of “the element of surprise” and added, “We need to have patience and perseverance now.” (AP, 16 July)
Photo credit: Saudi-UAE Coalition-backed Yemeni troops in control of Aden International Airport; 14 July 2015 (Arabweekly)