Houthis Make Gains, Push Back Hadi Loyalists

Houthis Make Gains, Push Back Hadi Loyalists Houthis Make Gains, Push Back Hadi Loyalists

Yemen’s Houthi militiamen, supported by army units, gained ground in the southern city of Aden on Sunday, pushing back loyalists of the Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Residents took refuge in their homes and reported hearing sporadic gunfire and blasts of rocket-propelled grenades, and one witness saw a Houthi tank in the downtown Mualla district, which sits astride Aden’s main commercial port.

Houthi forces have inched forward in street-fighting in the city despite an 11-day nationwide bombing campaign by a Saudi-led coalition aimed at halting the group and protecting Hadi’s last bastion of support in the country.

Saudi planes parachuted weapons to Hadi’s armed supporters there on Friday, helping them temporarily beat back Houthi advances.

The crates of light weapons, telecommunications equipment and rocket-propelled grenades were parachuted into Aden’s Tawahi district, on the far end of the Aden peninsula which is still held by Hadi loyalists, fighters told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has said defending Aden’s government is a “main objective” of its mission and Hadi’s administration has called for a foreign ground intervention into the beleaguered city.

In six months of fighting, the Shiite Muslim Houthis have seized much of Yemen’s north and center but have faced stiff resistance in the country’s Sunni south, raising fears of a sectarian civil war.

  Arms Embargo

Saudi Arabia has rejected Russia’s amendments to a Security Council draft resolution which would see an all-inclusive arms embargo on all parties in the Yemeni conflict, as it continues to spiral out of control with civilian death toll climbing up, RT reported on Sunday.

 “There is little point in putting an embargo on the whole country. It doesn’t make sense to punish everybody else for the behavior of one party that has been the aggressor in this situation,” Saudi Arabia’s representative to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said after a closed emergency UN Security Council meeting on Saturday.

Al-Mouallimi added that he “hopes” Russia won’t resort to its veto power in case the all-inclusive embargo clause is not added into the draft submitted by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council that urges an arms embargo only on the Houthis.

At the same time, Riyadh agreed with Moscow’s calls for need of “humanitarian pauses” in the Saudi-led coalition’s air campaign in Yemen – though saying that Saudi Arabia already cooperates fully in this regard.

“We always provided the necessary facilities for humanitarian assistance to be delivered,” Al-Mouallimi told reporter heading out of the meeting. “We have cooperated fully with all requests for evacuation.”

Moscow convened an emergency meeting on a draft resolution demanding “regular and obligatory” breaks in air assaults against Houthis, in which many civilians keep dying in increasing numbers. The Russian-proposed draft circulated on Saturday demanded” rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people in need.”

The current council president and Jordan’s Ambassador Dina Kawar said that the council members “need time” to consider the Russian draft resolution, adding that the talks would continue. “We hope that by Monday we can come up with something,” Kawar said.

The 15-member council is considering the possibly of merging the Russian and (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council proposed drafts into one.