Yemen's exiled president returns to Aden to rally forces

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 17, 2015 12:11 AM

ADEN (Reuters) - Yemen's exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi returned to the southern port city of Aden on Tuesday to rally forces loyal to him in the country's civil war and oversee a campaign to retake the city of Taiz, a presidency official said.

It was not immediately clear how long Hadi would stay in the country, his second return to Aden since the Saudi-led coalition retook the port city in July, or whether his visit would herald the permanent return of his exiled administration from the Saudi capital Riyadh.

At least 5,600 Yemenis have been killed during seven months in a civil war that has pitted supporters of the exiled government, backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition, against forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi militia allied to Iran.

Mukhtar al-Rahbi, an official in Yemen's presidency, said Hadi had arrived in Aden to oversee the campaign to retake the city of Taiz, which has been battered by fighting. Medics in Tazi say more than 1,600 people have died in the city.

"He will also meet with military officials to assess the security situation and to oversee the merging of the resistance forces into the army and security forces," al-Rahbi said.

The coalition has made some progress on the battlefield and took control of Aden in July.

But Houthis still retain control of much of Yemen, despite almost daily air bombardment.

(Reporting by Mohamed Mukhashaf and Mohammed Ghobari; writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)