The Yemeni government has scored some important successes in Yemen this month, as military forces retook both the harbour and airport in Aden and took complete control of the city. This has given the government an important base in the country as it continues fighting Al Houthi rebels from the north who captured the capital Sana’a almost a year ago as they sought to launch a coup.
Several ministers and other senior government officials from the government in exile have gone to Aden to start to rebuild their administration, along with a force of 1,500 Yemeni soldiers who have been trained in Saudi Arabia and equipped with heavy weapons that have made a huge difference in the fighting.
The Yemeni government has been fully backed by its close friends and allies in the Saudi-led regional coalition, which includes most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members and several other Arab states. A Saudi military plane landed on Wednesday carrying arms and reinforcements, and the UAE was thanked by Yemeni Transport Minister Badr Basalma for its action in sending a technical team to repair the airport’s control tower and passenger terminal which had been heavily damaged in the fighting.
The GCC is committed to seeing the legitimate Yemeni government returned to power and the defeat of Al Houthi rebellion, which has profited from the backing of Iran. This round of fighting in Yemen has lasted almost a year and has offered a dangerous opportunity to assorted forces in Yemen like supporters of Al Qaida who have taken control of several territories in the east and southern secessionists who would like to re-split the country. Yemen needs a strong government to halt such divisive activity and rekindle the national project.