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Mon Sep 2, 2019, 11:18 AM

Saudi Arabia struggles to hold Yemen coalition together as allies face off

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 / 6:42 AM / UPDATED 3 HOURS AGO

Saudi Arabia struggles to hold Yemen coalition together as allies face off

Stephen Kalin, Ghaida Ghantous
6 MIN READ

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is struggling to hold together a military coalition fighting Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen after local allies turned on each other in a power struggle that has strained Riyadh’s alliance with its main regional partner, the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE, the second power in the coalition, has openly intervened on behalf of southern separatists battling the Saudi-backed government for control of the south, launching air strikes on government forces trying to regain their interim seat of power in Aden port.

The escalation risks further fracturing the Saudi-UAE alliance and emboldening the Houthi movement, which the coalition was formed to fight. The United Nations is trying to restart talks to end the 4-1/2 year conflict, largely seen as a proxy war between rival powers Saudi Arabia and Iran.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOUTHERN YEMEN?

UAE-backed separatists, who seek self-rule in the south, seized Aden, base of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government, in early August after they accused a party allied to Hadi of complicity in a Houthi assault on their forces.

The two sides were nominal allies under the Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthi group, which ousted Hadi from power in the capital Sanaa in 2014. But they have rival agendas.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-explainer/saudi-arabia-struggles-to-hold-yemen-coalition-together-as-allies-face-off-idUSKCN1VN0Y9

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