UAE-Backed Militants, Saudi-Sponsored Mercenaries Edging Closer to Major War

UAE-Backed Militants, Saudi-Sponsored Mercenaries Edging Closer to Major War

TERHAN (Tasnim) – UAE-backed separatists in southern Yemen warned of an "imminent war" with Saudi-sponsored militants as divisions between the two sides continue to deepen.

In a statement, the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC) said it had informed ambassadors of major countries to Yemen and the UN envoy Martin Griffiths that "the outbreak of war is imminent".

The group accused Riyadh-backed government of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of violating a power-sharing settlement signed between the two sides last year.

The STC accused the former government of trying to regain control of southern provinces in violation of a "sustainable political agreement" reached last November, according to Press TV.

The statement also said that Hadi's loyalists had attempted to overrun Aden, which was seized by the separatists last August.

Both the UAE-sponsored separatists and Saudi-backed militants loyal to Hadi serve a Riyadh-led military coalition which has been waging a bloody war on Yemeni people since March 2015.

Equipped and funded by the United Arab Emirates, the separatists have long sought southern Yemen to secede.

They had initially agreed to fight under the Saudi-led military coalition, but recently and after a decision by the UAE to effectively withdraw its forces from Yemen, the group has turned its weapons on rival militants loyal to Hadi.

The infighting has highlighted deepening divisions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two countries that are leading the war on Yemen.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi war has claimed more than 100,000 lives in Yemen since 2015.

The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are now in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

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