STC says repelled government offensive, causing heavy losses to attackers

English Reports

الإثنين, 11-05-2020 الوقت 07:01:54 مساءً بتوقيت عدن

Aden- AFP & South24

South Yemen's Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces clashed Monday with the fighters loyal to the internationally recognized government over a regional capital.

The government offensive on the city of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, marked the first major skirmish in the area since the STC declared self-rule over the region, AFP reports. 

Both sides told the agency that the government troops launched an offensive on the outskirts of Zinjibar, some 60 kilometres from the strategic port city of Aden.

The STC announced that the offensive had been repelled, with the attackers suffering heavy losses, but did not provide any figures.

Video footage showed government armored vehicles on fire as STC forces celebrated their "victory".

The Southern Transitional Council's president, Major-General Aidarous Al-Zubaidi said in a televised speech coinciding with the renewed fighting: “We have pursued peace and have chosen the options of dialogue from a deep belief that dialogue is the best way to resolve differences. On this basis, we went to Jeddah and then to Riyadh and overlooked many of the attacks, violations and provocations practiced by the Yemeni government forces, in the hope that the efforts of the brothers in Saudi Arabia will succeed to implement the Riyadh Agreement. ”

"Today we are facing irresponsible forces whose approach is terrorism and chaos, do not respect the covenants and covenants, and do not see in the other only a subordinate subject to its authority and its arrogance, which imposes on us the defense of the gains and freedom of our people in the face of the war and terror machine that the Sanaa regime's forces export to the south for 3 decades, ” he added.

The STC proclaimed self-governance in late April, further complicating the long-running conflict in the country that sees the government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, face off with the Iran-supported Houthi rebels in the north.

While the government and the STC have technically been allies in the long war against the rebels, the declaration of self-rule has driven a wedge between the two sides after a deal signed in Riyadh failed to disarm the frictions.

- Image: NABIL HASAN / AFPA fighter from of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) watches as a military vehicle burns in the Sheikh Salim area in South Yemen, Abyan province on May 11, 2020.

Southern Transitional Council South Yemen Abyan