Yemeni government forces rout separatists from southern city

Yemeni forces have taken control of the city. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 August 2019

Yemeni government forces rout separatists from southern city

  • Clashes over Etq, the capital of oil-rich Shabwa province erupted late Thursday night
  • Separatist militiamen of the so-called Southern Transitional Council, have so far seized strategic southern areas

SANAA: Forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized government have taken full control of a key southern city after overnight clashes with separatists, Yemeni security officials said Friday.
Clashes over Etq, the capital of oil-rich Shabwa province erupted late Thursday night and lasted until Friday morning, said the security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because there were not authorized to talk to the media.
Separatist militiamen of the so-called Southern Transitional Council, have so far seized strategic southern areas, including the city of Aden and much of the nearby Abyan province.
A Saudi-Emirati commission flew to southern Yemen last week to negotiate a truce between the government forces and separatists but has so far made no progress.
In a tweet posted early Friday, Hani Ben Braik, a separatist leader, would not admit defeat at Etq but said his militiamen chose not to pursue a battle in the city out of “respect” for the truce efforts.
However, Ben Baraik warned his forces would fight back if they were attacked again.


Ankara hits back after tens of Turkish soldiers killed in Syrian airstrikes in Idlib

Updated 1 min 47 sec ago

Ankara hits back after tens of Turkish soldiers killed in Syrian airstrikes in Idlib

LONDON: At least 34 Turkish soldiers were killed during airstrikes in Idlib on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. 

The airstrike took place in an area between the towns Baluon and Al-Bara in Idlib, and was a response to Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish military recapturing the strategic town of Saraqeb earlier on Thursday.

Turkey retaliated with strikes against the regime, the presidency announced early Friday. 

"Known targets of the regime have come and will continue to come under fire from the air and ground," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said in a statement.
"We urge the international community to fulfil its responsibilities," Altun added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported on Thursday that Russian-backed government forces had seized full control of southern Idlib province after fresh advances against the rebels.

Government forces have seized about 60 towns and villages in the southern Idlib area and the adjoining province of Hama in the last three days, the Observatory said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan chaired an emergency security meeting late on Thursday to evaluate the latest developments in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, two Turkish security sources said.

*With Reuters