Yemeni gov’t denies role in withdrawal of allied forces from Hudaydah
Pro-government forces withdrew from their front line positions
The Yemeni government on Saturday denied any role in the withdrawal of allied forces from several fronts in the country’s western coastal province of Hudaydah.
This came in a statement by government representatives in the Coordination Committee of the UN-mediated Stockholm agreement in Hudaydah and published by the state news agency Saba.
"What is currently happening on the western coast of the redeployment of forces is taking place without our knowledge and without any prior coordination with us," the statement read.
On Thursday, pro-government military forces withdrew from their front-line positions in Hudaydah to the city of Al-Khokha, 163 km south of the province.
Houthi rebels, meanwhile, on Friday took control of the at-Tuhayta district in Hudaydah, local sources told Anadolu Agency.
Although these forces fight alongside the Yemeni government, they are not under the control of the Ministry of Defense, and receive financial and military support from the United Arab Emirates, according to local media.
On Dec. 13, 2018, Yemeni government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held UN-brokered talks in Swedish capital Stockholm that yielded a cease-fire deal and the swapping of prisoners in Hudaydah.
The statement noted that “the redeployment measures are supposed to be carried out in coordination and understanding with the UN Mission in Hudaydah through the government team, which was also not in the picture."
Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara