At least 300 civilians were killed or wounded in recent raids carried out by United Arab Emirates-backed militias in Yemen’s Aden and Abyan provinces, according to Yemeni news reports.
Yemen’s SABA news agency cited the country’s human rights ministry as saying that the killings took place during home raids conducted by armed militias affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (STC), a secessionist movement.
The agency reported that women and children were among the dead.
The raids came a day after Yemeni government forces retook control of Aden and Zanzibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, from the STC.
Meanwhile, according to local sources, a new batch of separatist forces trained by the UAE in Aden have arrived by ship on the Yemeni island of Socotra. This is the second group of forces that have arrived on the island after the UAE carried out air strikes Thursday against government forces in southern Yemen, the sources said.
Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.