Less than meets the eye
Houthis Driven Out of Aden Port

Saudi-backed fighters in Yemen are on the move: a day after capturing Aden’s airport from Houthi forces, the fighters have now captured Aden’s main port, as well as one of its neighboring districts. Reuters has more:

Houthi forces withdrew from the port and Mualla district into Tawahi and were slowing the militiamen’s advance in another area called Crater, using intense sniper fire from volcanic crags which overlook the seaside metropolis. […]

Saudi Arabia and other Arab states have been bombing the Houthis and their allies from the air since March 26 in the hope of reinstating Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, an ally of Saudi Arabia who fled into exile in Riyadh. […]

Residents said scores of southern fighters were in the streets of Aden fighting on Wednesday as part of the offensive dubbed “Operation Golden Arrow”.

So is this the big turnaround that Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman has been looking for in his stalemated war? Not quite. The Houthis’ strongest positions are in the inlands areas of northwest Yemen, the traditional home of the Shi’a-aligned Zaidi sect. Aden on the other hand, is home to a large Sunni majority. It has always been likely to fall, if only local forces could muster the wherewithal to push the Houthis out.

But regardless of how you slice it, it is a setback for the Houthis, who had been on a bit of a roll lately. And if the rollback continues, look for the Houthis to strike back with increasing ferocity, or even directly stir the pot in the Kingdom’s ‘Asir province.

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