The Emirati-backed separatists in southern Yemen say hundreds of US and British forces have arrived in the port city of Aden as the first batch of a large military force that Washington and London seek to deploy to the Arab country’s resource-rich areas under the guise of fighting terrorism.
According to Fadi al-Murshidi, media official of the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC), some 450 US and British soldiers arrived in Aden, al-Masa press reported.
Murshidi said that Washington and London — staunch backers of the Saudi regime’s war on Yemen — plan to deploy 3,000 troops in Aden, al-Anad base in Lahj province, Socotra Island in the Arabian Sea, Hadhramaut, Mahrah and Shabwah provinces, under the pretext of combating terrorism.
Local media reported that a US force consisted of 110 soldiers reinforced by 10 Black Hawk aircraft, 30 Harvey armored vehicles, four Patriot air defense systems and an integrated field operations room had reached the coast of Balhaf in the oil-producing Shabwa province.
Two US warships docked at Balhaf, Yemen’s main liquefied natural gas (LNG) export port, according to southern local media.
Military experts say Washington's intensified moves in Yemen’s southern provinces are aimed at preparing for a possible military intervention and establishment of military bases in the country.
Some analysts say the moves indicate Washington’s intention to plunder the country’s oil resources.
The presence of US forces in Yemen comes as Washington has begun withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and apparently plans to transfer them to another territory rich in natural resources.
Both the UAE-backed separatists and the militants loyal to the former Saudi-allied Yemeni government serve the Riyadh-led coalition, which has been engaged, since 2015, in a bloody military campaign against Yemen aimed at reinstating ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who resigned in 2014 and later fled to the Saudi capital.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in the war on Yemen.
Despite all the firm support from the West, the Saudi regime and its coalition allies have achieved none of the long-drawn-out war’s objectives thanks to stiff resistance by Yemen’s armed forces — led by the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The reported American and British deployment comes as Yemen’s armed forces — led by the Houthi Ansarullah movement — have been making more gains against pro-Saudi militants on several fronts.
Angered by the gains, the Saudi-led coalition has stepped up its airstrikes against civilian targets in different area of Yemen.