The comments from STC leader Ahmed Lamlas are part of a simmering conflict between the UAE-backed group and the Yemeni government in Aden
STC threatens anti-Hadi alliance with Tareq Saleh amid stalled Riyadh agreement
Southern Transitional Council (STC) leader Ahmed Hamed Lamlas accused Yemen’s internationally recognized government of rebelling against the Riyadh agreement on Tuesday, and threatened to ally with UAE-backed forces to stabilize the south and fight the Houthis.
"I ... call on the wise people in the government to determine their position on the rebellion against the Riyadh agreement,” STC Secretary-General Lamlas said in a tweet posted Tuesday morning. “We have options with national forces interested in stabilizing the south and liberating the north from Iran's militias under the umbrella of the Arab Alliance."
Lamlas’ mention of “national forces” refers to troops known as the Republican Guards loyal to Brig. Gen. Tareq Saleh, the nephew of former president Ali Abdulah Saleh. Saleh’s Republican Guards and the STC are both sponsored and supported by the UAE.
Saleh has mentioned on several occasions that he does not recognize the legitimacy of Hadi’s presidency. However, he has supported the Saudi-led coalition’s war against the Houthis to restore the legitimate government in Sana’a.
Lamlas’ comments are part of a simmering conflict between STC and government officials on social media and on the ground in the wake of a stalled Riyadh agreement, which seeks to incorporate the STC into Hadi’s Aden-based government after the secessionists took control of the interim capital in August.
In a sign of further fragmentation among anti-Houthi forces, the Tihama Resistance, which together with Saleh’s troops and the Giants Brigade form the Joint Forces operating on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, refused to handover the district of Al-Khokha to the Republican Guards as part of the UN-sponsored Stockholm agreement that prevented an all out war in the port city of Hodeidah last year.