The UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council Militias in Lahj province have taken over the tasks of securing the northern entrance of Rabat district linking Aden to Lahj province, under instructions issued by the Saudi-led coalition leadership.
The move came following a visit by a Saudi military commander to the city of al-Hawtah , the capital of Lahj province, who assigned the task to separatist commander Jalal al-Rubaie.
On the other hand, Saudi forces on Friday issued directives to the leadership of Hadi loyalist forces in Shabwah province, ordering them to allow the militia of the STC-run Shabwah Elite to enter the city of Ataq, the capital of the province, without any resistance.
The se new Saudi orders to empower groups affiliated with the United Arab Emirates, an act that has happened repeatedly since the signing of the Riyadh Agreement.
Saudi-led coalition forced Hadi forces to withdraw from the city of Ahwar, area of Khobar and the international coastline in late November.
The coalition directed the command of Hadi’s 21st Brigade to leave city of Ahwar and ordered them to retreat to the Neqabah area in Shabwah province, two days after they took control of the city, and replaced them with elements of the UAE’s Southern Transitional Council.
The departure of Hadi Forces from the city of Ahwar and the Khobar area on the coastal line, follows UAE threats to bomb the Islah forces if they try to storm the city of Ahwar again.
Meanwhile, the Islah Party, which is heavily opposed to the UAE influence and the separatist movements, continues to reinforce its forces in the coastal city of Shaqra in Abyan province, as well as in the city of Ataq in Shabwah, in preparation for storming the city of Aden and extracting it from the control of the STC.
Military reinforcements of Hadi’s forces from Mar’ib were exposed to three ambushes in al-Mahfad district in the past two days, conducted by the UAE-backed Al Kazm tribes.
Observers confirmed that there is coordination of the UAE-Saudi in order bring back to Southern Transitional Council militias to the province, following the failure of the Riyadh Agreement signed between Hadi’s government and the Southern Transitional Council on November 5. The failure was made clear after the pro-Hadi governor in Shabwah, who belongs to Islah, accused Saudi Arabia of supporting the STC’s militias against Hadi’s government in Shabwah.
Observers believe that Saudi directives to empower the militias of the Southern Transitional Council at the expense of the Isalh Party, confirm that there are new arrangements for the situation in the occupied provinces in southern Yemen. In these arrangements, the Islah Party will most likely have no place.
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