The soldiers are expected to be stationed in government buildings and installations throughout Aden including the airport and the seaport

New batch of Saudi-trained Yemeni forces arrive at Aden airport

A new batch of Saudi-trained Yemeni soldiers arrived at Aden International Airport Thursday evening en route to the headquarters of the Saudi-led Coalition in western Aden, according to an official in the Ministry of Defense. 

The 130 soldiers represent the fifth group to be trained in Saudi Arabia and deployed to Yemen’s interim capital since the signing of the Riyadh Agreement in early November. On Wednesday, a separate batch of 60 Saudi-trained soldiers mostly from Aden arrived to the coalition headquarters, located in Aden's Buraiqa district. 

These two batches of soldiers are expected to be stationed in government buildings and installations in Aden including the airport and the seaport. However, forces loyal to the Emirati-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) have refused to hand over positions they seized from the government in August, creating tensions with the Saudis and government forces.

The Saudi-led coalition’s attempts to install new security forces in Aden are part of the implementation process of the Riyadh Agreement, which seeks to create a sustainable, power-sharing government between the internationally recognized government and the STC. 

Meanwhile, Saudi-backed military forces belonging to the Al-Subbayha tribe in Lahj governorate secured the coastal route between Lahj and Aden on Wednesday in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a government official on the committee the Saudis formed to oversee the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement. The route is a known smuggling route used to transport drugs, cigarettes and African migrants. 

These forces are led by the commander of the Second Giants Brigade, Hamdi Shukri Al-Subaihi.

STC-aligned forces were seen heading in the direction of the coastal route after the Saudi-backed forces deployed there, according to the government official.



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