Government loyalists close in on Yemen’s largest air base

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Royal Saudi Air Force C-130 delivers supplies to the International airport of Aden, Yemen, recently taken by Yemeni forces loyal to ousted president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi

Fighters loyal to Yemen’s government-in-exile on Friday clashed with Houthis inside the rebel-held Al Anad Air Base, the country’s largest, after capturing most of the surrounding area. Asharq Al-Awsat reported from Aden, Yemen.

The pro-government forces, known as the Popular Resistance, have set their sights on the air base since they captured the southern city of Aden earlier this month in a closely coordinated operation with Saudi-led coalition forces.

The base is located in the southern Lahej province, 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of the newly captured Aden. It served as the headquarters for US counterterrorism operations in southern Yemen until Houthi insurgents consolidated their control of Sana’a in late 2014.

On the same day two Saudi planes arrived in Aden on Friday bringing equipment to reopen the city’s international airport following four months of fighting, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV reported. Fighters loyal to President

Royal Saudi Air Force C-130 delivers supplies to the International airport of Aden, Yemen, recently taken by Yemeni forces loyal to ousted president  Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi
Royal Saudi Air Force C-130 delivers supplies to the International airport of Aden, Yemen, recently taken by Yemeni forces loyal to ousted president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi
, backed by Saudi-led coalition forces, captured the strategic city of Aden and its airport from Houthis on July 14.

Houthis entered Aden in late March, prompting Hadi to seek refuge in Saudi Arabia and call on the Kingdom to intervene militarily in Yemen. In response to his call, Riyadh has been bombarding Houthi positions for more than three months in an effort to restore the beleaguered president to power.

Meanwhile, ISIS’ Aden Province – a militant terror organization in Yemen affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) – released a series of photos over the weekend, claiming the group has renewed operations at a training base near Yemen’s coastal city of Aden.