Frontline in Abyan holds firm as clashes renew between government, STC forces
Four people were killed and eight others were injured on Saturday in renewed artillery shelling between government forces and UAE-backed forces aligned with the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a military source in the Fourth Military Region told Almasdar Online. Both sides held their positions, but Brig. Gen. Saif Al-Qufaish was captured by STC-aligned forces.
The fighting is taking place between Al-Tariyah and Sheikh Salem areas in the west of Abyan governorate, which borders the interim capital of Aden.
Government forces sought to advance from Al-Tariyah, northeast of the governorate's capital of Zinjibar, toward the town of Sheikh Salem, and exchanged artillery fire with STC forces, resulting in the destruction of multiple military vehicles on both side, the source said, adding that neither side has succeeded in making advances on the ground.
According to the Fourth Military Region official, the commander of the 115th Infantry Brigade, Brig. Gen. Saif Al-Qufaish, was captured along with around four of his guards. At the time of his capture, the commander was leading a brigade unit to advance on the outskirts of Sheikh Salem town. The captured combatants were transported by the UAE-sponsored Security Belt Forces, the main armed group supporting the STC, to an STC base in Sheikh Salem.
Activists loyal to the STC posted photos and a video of Brig. Gen. Al-Qufaish detailing the moment of his capture. The commander of the STC's 5th Logistical Support Brigade, Mukhtar Al-Nubi, could be seen following Al-Qufaish’s capture.
Following the attempted government advance, STC forces tried to launch a counter-offensive to take over territory in the Al-Tariyah area and the government’s base in nearby Qarn Al-Kalasi, but government forces held the frontline.
Edited by Ali Al Sakani