Clashes escalate in Abyan between government and STC forces
Clashes have escalated in the town of Sheikh Salem and Al-Tariyah area in Abyan governorate between government forces and forces loyal to the Southern Transitional Council (STC), according to a military source in the Fourth Military Region.
The source said STC forces launched artillery shells on internationally recognized government forces positioned in the areas of Al-Derjaj, Sarar and Al-Tariyah, north of Abyan’s capital of Zinjibar. Government forces responded by shelling STC positions in Jabal Khanfar on the outskirts of Ja’ar.
STC forces launched a large-scale ground offensive in conjunction with the shelling to try to regain control of positions near Al-Derjaj and Al-Tariyah area, but later retreated under shelling by government units stationed in the area of Abr Othman, the source added.
Eyewitnesses told Almasdar Online that an ambulance and two STC vehicles arrived at Al-Razi hospital, located in the area of Al-Makhzan, near the city of Ja’ar, with casualties. Among the wounded were two officers who were seriously injured.
Government forces also suffered casualties, and ambulances were seen transporting a number of soldiers to neighboring Shabwa governorate in the southeast of the country.
On Tuesday, the STC received large-scale military reinforcements that reached the cities of Zinjibar and Ja’ar. Many of those reinforcements will be used to retake the town of Shaqra from government forces, according to STC media and activists.
Editing by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs