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Southern separatists battle with Saudi-supported forces in Yemen

By Ken Hanly     Aug 9, 2019 in World
Aden - Although the two sides clashing in Yemen are united in their battle against the Houthi rebels who control much of the north of the country, fighting has broken out between the southern separatists in the south and the Saudi-backed government forces.
Clashes cause casualties
The allied rivals continued to fight in Aden the capital of the Hadi government recognized internationally. The battle appears to be mainly focused on control of the presidential palace in the city. The battle continued on Thursday with at least one more person being killed.
Fighting continues on Wednesday
On Wednesday protesters from the separatist movement marched to the palace and seized it. The protesters had earlier attended the funerals of pro-separatist fighters. Leaders accused the government of backing Islamists to attack them. Up to now the fighting has been confined to Aden. The Saudi-backed government has accused the separatist leaders of fomenting sedition and called on the separatists to ignore the calls to battle of their leaders.
Clashes could expand to outright war
The clashes could easily expand. The separatists are strongly backed by the United Arab Emirates although the UAE has withdrawn some troops. The Aden-based Hadi government has many loyal forces in the south.
Many casualties on third day of clashes
Just a few hours ago Al Jazeera reports: "Fighting between Yemeni government forces and separatists in the southern port city of Aden has continued for a third consecutive day, with reports of at least 20 people killed."
The Saudi-led military alliance has been battling with the Houthi rebel movement that still controls much of the north since 2015. In the Friday violence anonymous doctors and security officials told news agencies that five civilians were among those killed and dozens were wounded in the Friday violence. Much of the fighting is in the most populated areas of the city raising concern about the safety of civilians.
The Norwegian Refugee Council issued a statement about the situation: "The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is extremely concerned for the safety of its staff and civilians trapped in their homes after fighting broke out in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden. Since August 7, fighting has intensified in parts of the city leaving civilians trapped in residential areas especially in the Crater area. Scared residents are unable to flee to get to safety and many are running out of food and water. One of the city’s main water tanks has reportedly been damaged by the fighting, cutting off supplies of drinking water."
The aims of the two allies differ
While the two groups are allies in the fight against the Houthi rebels, their aims are contradictory. At one time southern Yemen was a separate state. The separatists allied with the UAE want an outcome that will see the south as again a separate state. The supporters of the Saudi-supported Mansur Hadi government want one unified country with Hadi as president.
The flags on the appended video are of Southern Yemen not Yemen itself.
More about Yemen civil war, Hadi Yemen Government, South Yemen
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