SANAA: Infighting among pro-government Yemeni forces has killed 35 troops in a southern province in the past 24 hours, officials said, a development that threatens a ceasefire in the country’s wider conflict, reports AP.
They say that an artillery duel that start in the late hours of Tuesday hit areas around a local airport in the city of Ataq, the capital of the southern Shabwa province.
The fighting comes after months of tensions within the pro-government, Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting a common enemy — the Houthi rebels — since 2015.
Earlier violence late Sunday erupted in the area after the province’s governor, backed by the United Arab Emirates, decided to sack a police commander known to have an anti-UAE stance, the officials said.
Yemen’s civil war erupted in 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthis descended from their northern enclave and took over the capital, forcing the government to flee to the south before its exile in Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi-led coalition — then backed by the United Sates — entered the war in early 2015 to try to restore the government to power.
Since then, the conflict has turned into a proxy war between regional foes Saudi Arabia and Iran, which backs the Houthis. The war has also resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.