Gap Widening between Riyadh, Abu Dhabi over Yemen, Saudi Jets Hit Pro-Hadi Militias in Ma’rib
The Saudi warplanes’ raid on pro-Hadi militia targets in Farza9 region in Ma’rib province came just one day after the UAE fighter jets in a similar move pounded a pro-Saudi camp in Yemen’s Lahij province.
On Tuesday, Emirati fighter jets targeted the positions of pro-Saudi camp in al-Hawtah city in Lahij province.
The UAE warplanes’ raid on pro-Saudi militia targets in Lahij came just one day after Saudi fighter jets in a similar move pounded a UAE military convoy, killing two UAE military servicemen.
The differences between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in Yemen have heightened after the UAE replaced its soldiers with Blackwater mercenaries which faced the stern oppositions of the Riyadh government.
As a result, fugitive President Mansour Hadi and his Prime Minister Khaled Bahah have been running a feud for the past several months, and their differences grew noisy when a number of Saudi officials worked out a plan to replace the former president with his premier – who had both fled to Saudi Arabia then – in order to encourage the revolutionary forces back in Yemen to work with him and allow him to start a new government.
Political observers believe that the quarrel between Hadi and his prime minister derives from the underlying row between Saudi Arabia as supporter of Hadi and UAE as supporter of Bahah.
Meantime, Lahij and Aden provinces have been the scenes of numerous attacks against pro-Hadi forces; the latest case was assassination of Aden governor Ja’afar Saeed.
In a relevant development in late December, Hadi’s palace in Aden came under siege by his opponents, forcing him to flee Yemen to Saudi Arabia again.
A newly-formed militant group calling itself ‘Southern Yemen’s Resistance Forces’ had besieged Hadi’s place of residence in Aden, Arab media outlets reported on December 23.
Political analysts speculate that the siege of Hadi’s palace had taken place with the green light of the United Arab Emirates as a result of a row between the UAE and Saudi Arabia over Hadi and his prime minister.
The speculations came as the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed had met the leaders of Southern Yemen, including a senior Yemeni Salafi leader Hani bin Barik, in Abu Dhabi.