SANA’A – The Chief of Staff of the Saudi-backed Hadi regime, Mohamed Ali al-Makdashi, has ordered some of the most elite units of the pro-Hadi armed forces to immediately withdraw from the Hodeidah frontline and deploy to the southern port city of Aden, which is currently under UAE control.
According to military sources reported by the Yemen Press Agency, the military staff of the Hadi regime’s forces ordered three brigades of the elite Presidential Guard and the Giants Brigades (a mercenary group from southern Yemen that is loyal to the Hadi regime and opposed to South Yemeni secession) to leave their positions on Yemen’s West Coast and to retreat towards Aden.
The decision is highly noteworthy, considering the fact that Aden itself is far from the actual frontline where the Hadi regime is combating the forces of the National Salvation Government.
While there is no confirmation yet about the cause of the sudden redeployment, it is highly likely that the Chief of Staff’s decision is caused by the recent UAE takeover of Aden. Last week, UAE-backed South Yemeni separatists called for the expulsion of the Hadi regime from the city, and during the weekend a mass exodus of Hadi regime officials and functionaries was reported, as well as a UAE military takeover of strategic locations.
The Emirati move on Aden is in direct contradiction to official communication on the UAE’s role in the war on Yemen, in which is stated that they seek to return ousted former president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to power. Experts and observers believe that a direct confrontation between the Saudi-backed Hadi regime and Emirati-backed Southern separatists is highly likely.