Airstrikes hit Yemeni government forces heading to the southern port city of Aden to fight separatists backed by the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, killing at least 30 troops, a government commander said.
Col. Mohamed al-Oban, a commander of the special forces in Abyan province, said the troops were headed towards the port city on Thursday to fight the UAE-backed southern separatists.
He didn't say who was behind the strikes, saying only the planes were from the Saudi-led coalition. It was not immediately clear who was behind the airstrikes, but the government side blamed the UAE, which has armed and trained separatist militias in southern Yemen. Officials in the UAE declined immediately to the comment.
Infighting has raged for weeks between Yemeni government forces and the separatists, even though the two are allies in a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels who control the capital, Sanaa, and most of the country’s north since 2015. The UAE is also part of that coalition.
The southern Yemeni separatists have vowed revenge against government forces for their assault on Aden and dispatched reinforcements from elsewhere.