Arab Ground Forces in Aden

Arab Ground Forces in AdenArab Ground Forces in Aden

An Arab ground force arrived in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Sunday and started fighting Houthi forces, Yemen’s Aden al-Ghad newspaper reported, according to Reuters.

“The first push of the Arab ground force arrived on Sunday morning in Aden and began to take part in battle,” the newspaper said, citing its reporters.

The objective of the landing, which Saudi officials declined to immediately comment on, was not clear. However, military and security officials repeatedly have said that a ground operation would follow a Saudi-led airstrike campaign after the military positions of the Houthi forces were targeted. According to witnesses, the black-clad and masked coalition troops landed in a central area between Aden’s neighborhood of al-Mansoura and the airport. They said helicopter gunships hovered above the landing area.

The troops reportedly used at least four vehicles to move around in Aden and that they included Yemenis serving in the armed and security forces of some Persian Gulf Arab members of the coalition. Those Yemenis, according to undisclosed sources, may have served as guides to foreign troops who came ashore with them.

They said the troops carried assault rifles and took photos of the areas they toured. It was not immediately clear whether the troops were ferried to Aden by helicopters taking off from coalition navy ships off the coast of Yemen or travelled to shore in speed boats.

Houthis, who control much of northern Yemen including the capital Sanaa - have been fighting forces linked to the government for several months. Saudi Arabia and other Arab states have been carrying out airstrikes over the last month, with the declared aim of restoring fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The landing came on a day when the coalition staged renewed airstrikes against positions of the Houthis, now nearly a daily occurrence.