According to sources reported by the Fort Russ news agency, a sudden twist of events that very well drastically affect the outcome of the Yemeni conflict has taken place in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.
According to these reports, the so-called Resistance of the South, a secessionist movement in South Yemen led by Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, has clashed with forces loyal to Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the puppet ruler of the Saudi-backed regime, in the southern port city.
Aden was the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Yemen, also known as South Yemen, until the merger of North and South in 1990. Ever since, the Southern Movement has however remained politically active in the region, although it has fully lost its Communist and Socialist ideology in favour of pure nationalism seeking the independence of the South.
During the conflict sweeping Yemen since the Saudi invasion in March 2015, the Southern Movement supported the invadin armies, and received significant support from the United Arab Emirates. This, however, has led to significant unrest in the South, as the UAE-backed secessionists and Saudi-backed Hadi regime maintain very different goals for Yemen in the future. Things became even more complicated since the Hadi “government” has taken Aden for its de facto capital.
While details remain murky at this time, reports on social media indicate that at least one secessionist protestor has been shot and killed by Hadi’s “presidential” Guard in Aden, and violent clashes between Southern Movement militias and Saudi-backed forces have been reported in the Aden district of Khor Maksar. The clashes come after a statement earlier this week by the leadership of the Southern Movement, in which it declared a state of emergency and demanded all of Hadi-supporting forces to vacate Aden and all of the South immediately.
If true, a full-blown conflict between Southern secessionists and Saudi forces could destabilise the Saudi-led coalition and its plan to defeat the revolutionary government of Sa’ana that is led by Ansarullah. It could also mark a possible rift between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over their strategic goals in Yemen.