Major victory for Hadi’s forces in Yemen

Forces loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have reportedly retaken control of the southern Yemen port city of Aden, according to VP-in-exile Khaled Bahah. The Houthis are denying that they’ve lost the city, but it seems pretty clear that no more than about 10% of the city, max, is still in Houthi hands. Some top officials of the exiled government have started returning to Aden over the past couple of days, and there’s no way they would have done so if the city weren’t pretty firmly in loyalist hands at this point.

Aden is a very important city; it’s the country’s largest port and it’s the de facto “capital” of the south if you’re thinking about Yemen as the sum of its two biggest constituent parts. Its loss to the Houthis is still the biggest defeat Hadi’s side has suffered in the civil war so far. Getting it back gives the loyalists a foothold to bring supplies and war materiel into the country. It does next to nothing, though, for the millions of Yemeni civilians who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and are struggling to get it in the absence of a ceasefire, and certainly won’t curtail the strife that’s been so beneficial to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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