Yemeni fighters trained in Persian Gulf are said to join Saudi-led war

The New York Times reports: Yemeni fighters who are believed to have received training and weapons in the Persian Gulf entered combat around the southern city of Aden on Sunday, joining with militiamen who are battling Houthi rebels, according to local militia fighters in Aden.

The new troops arrived by sea in the last few days, they said. They all appeared to be Yemenis from the south who had trained in Saudi Arabia and possibly other Persian Gulf states, according to a senior local commander, a fighter and an allied resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss troop actions.

Their claims could not be independently verified. If confirmed, the influx would represent one of the first major deployments of ground troops trained by the Saudi-led coalition, and would shift the makeup of a military operation that has largely relied on airstrikes through its first weeks.

The reinforcements, who the commander said had been given equipment including anti-tank weapons, are entering a fight in Aden that has become a deadly stalemate. Hundreds of people have been killed and whole neighborhoods destroyed in fighting over the last few weeks between the local militias, on one side, and the Houthis and their allied security forces on the other. [Continue reading…]

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