Houthis seize central Aden district in Yemen

imgYemeni Houthi fighters and their allies seized a central Aden district on April 2, striking a heavy blow against the Saudi-led coalition that has waged a week of air strikes to try to stem advances by the Iran-allied Shi’ite group.
Hours after the Houthis took over Aden’s central Crater neighbourhood, they marked another symbolic victory by fighting their way into a presidential residence overlooking the neighbourhood, residents said.
The southern city has been the last major holdout of fighters loyal to Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled Aden a week ago and has watched from Riyadh as the vestiges of his authority have crumbled.
By nightfall the Iran-allied Shi’ite fighters had reached the edge of Aden’s port district of Mualla, they said.
The Houthis and their supporters swept into the heart of Aden despite an eight-day air campaign led by Riyadh trying to stem their advances and ultimately return Hadi to power.
Although the Saudi air strikes have had little apparent impact on halting the Houthi advance, a senior U.S. military official in Washington played down the possibility that Saudi Arabia would send in ground forces.
“I don’t think they’re going to do that. I think they are arraying their forces along their border to prevent a Houthi incursion,” the official told a group of reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They’re postured defensively.”

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