Reports say the separatists effectively took control of Yemen’s second-biggest city late Saturday, following days of clashes with troops loyal to Yemen’s internationally backed government.
"We took the Maashiq palace from presidential (guard) forces without a fight," a spokesman for the separatist-dominated Security Belt force told the French news agency AFP.
#Yemen #Aden "The city is a battlefield. We can hear the sound of heavy weapon fire and tanks are moving around the streets," says Caroline Séguin, Head of programmes in Yemen. https://t.co/mnXOUiEwBl pic.twitter.com/N5IL3nJpcdMSF International (@MSF) August 10, 2019
Fighting broke out on Wednesday when forces loyal to the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) – which wants an independent south – attempted to break into the palace.
This was in response to calls by the STC’s deputy head, former cabinet minister Hani Bin Braik, for the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to be toppled.
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The Saudi-led coalition fighting the STC has urged an immediate ceasefire, adding that it would “use military force against anyone who violates it".
Yemen’s government has described the STC's seizure of Aden, which complicates efforts to bring peace to the region, as a "coup".