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Yemen government forces reclaims control of port city Aden

Forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally-recognised government have reclaimed control of the port city of Aden.

Some three weeks back the city was seized by United Arab Emirates-backed separatists.

Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani said government forces retook Aden’s airport, its presidential palace and surrounding areas from forces aligned to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) on Wednesday.

“The National Army & the security forces impose full control over Aden’s districts amid great public satisfaction and welcome,” he said in a post on Twitter.

He tweeted a video of people holding pictures of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as they celebrated in Aden, the temporary seat of his government.

Government forces also secured a military camp belonging to the STC-aligned Security Belt militia in the nearby town of Lahij, said al-Eryani.

There was no immediate comment from the separatists.

The separatists, who seek self-rule, turned on the government earlier in August after accusing a party allied to Hadi of being complicit in a Houthi attack on southern forces. After four days of fighting that killed at least 40 people, the separatists took effective control of Aden.

But the fighting in recent weeks between Hadi’s forces and separatists has threatened to open a new front in the complex war in the Arab world’s most impoverished country. The two sides are nominal allies in a Saudi-UAE-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels who control the country’s north.

The standoff has also exposed a rift between Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which in June scaled down its presence in Yemen under Western pressure to end the devastating war, but continues to support thousands of southern separatist forces.