The Popular Resistance militia group, associated with a Southern Yemen secessionist movement, have finally taken control of the small city of Dalea from Houthi rebels after battling for months.
The militia finally pushed into the center of the city of about 90,000, capturing the 33rd Armoured Brigade base and killing seven Houthi rebels in the process. Another report, indicates that only some areas of the city including Bardan ad Akhaszan have been retaken. Significantly, in the areas retaken the flag of Southern Yemen is being raised, not the Yemen flag. Some in the Saudi coalition are claiming credit for the capture of the city as part of the Saudi-led war effort, since the city and surrounding area has been subject to constant bombing. Much of Dalea has been destroyed by bombing.While the Southern Secessionists may be temporary allies with the Saudi-led coalition, they are enemies of Hadi and certainly would not welcome him back to Yemen unless he should agree to grant independence to the south. When the Hadi-government controlled the city last year their soldiers came under attack.The secessionist movement and Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula( AQAP) as well are taking advantage of the Saudi battle against the Houthis to further their own aims and seize territory. In Aden, much of the battle against the Houthis is being waged by defense and militia groups who support the separatist movement. This feature of the conflict appears to be studiously ignored by many analysts. These people hate the Houthis but they hate Hadi too.In other Yemen news, peace talks that were to be held in Geneva are postponed. President in exile, Hadi, had demanded that the Houthis give back some of the territory they had seized as a condition of attending the talks.