ABYAN, May 14 (YPA) – Armed clashes between the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council militias and Hadi’s forces resumed at dawn Thursday in Abyan province, southern Yemen, military sources said.
According to the military sources, a fierce fighting is taking place in the vicinity of the Qarn al-Kalasi area and Wadi Day-Sala areas, coinciding with the flight of a warplane said to belong to the United Arab Emirates.
Local sources also said that the STC has pushed a large military reinforcement to the sites of the clashes coming from the provinces of Lahj and Aden.
Reports also indicated the arrival of a squad of snipers belonging to Tariq Afash to the vicinity of the confrontations to fight along with the STC militias against Hadi forces.
UAE Air Support
The sources said that there is little progress for the STC militia as Hadi’s forces retreat for fear of airstrikes by the UAE air forces on their positions where they are stationed in the vicinity of the Shaqra coastal City.
According to the sources, the Sheikh Salem area of Abyan province also witnessed mutual artillery shelling and heavy weapons confrontations, which resulted in casualties and material damage on both sides.
Witnesses said ambulances were seen in the early hours of Thursday carrying a number of Hadi’s dead and wounded to Shabwah province.
On the level of reinforcements, local sources said that gunmen from Hadhramaut province arrived today to Abyan province to reinforce the STC militia.
The sources confirmed that the number of gunmen coming from Hadhramaut province is over 400 elements reinforced by tanks, light and medium weapons, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
On Wednesday evening, the STC ambushed reinforcements of Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar forces in Abyan province, burning down three military pickup vehicles, killing and wounding 18 officers and soldiers belonging to Hadi’s forces.
The two sides are trying to win the battle through the use of excessive military force, to carry out external agendas according to the multiple loyalties of the two sides.
Observers expect Hadi’s forces to suffer heavy losses and be defeated if the UAE air force supports the STC militia, as it had happened at the end of last year, when the UAE air force launched several raids targeting Hadi’s forces , leaving dead and injured in hundreds, forcing them to retreat and return to the city of Ataq, the capital of Shabwah province.