Saudis airdrop arms to Aden defenders

imgHouthi forces pulled back from a central Aden district on Friday and aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition dropped weapons and medical aid to fighters defending the southern Yemeni city, a last symbolic foothold of the country’s absent president.
The Shi’ite Houthi fighters and their allies withdrew from Crater neighbourhood as well as one of Aden’s presidential residences which they seized a day earlier, residents and a local official said.
Their withdrawal followed overnight clashes and an air strike on the presidential palace at Ma’ashiq, overlooking Crater. At least one Houthi tank was destroyed and another taken over by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s loyalists, they said.
Saudi Arabia’s military intervention is the latest front in the Sunni Muslim kingdom’s widening contest with Shi’ite Iran for power in the region, a proxy struggle also playing out in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
The Iranian-allied Houthis, fighting alongside soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, emerged as the strongest force in Yemen after they took over the capital Sana’a in September.
The crates included light weapons, telecommunications equipment and rocket-propelled grenades, they said. The pro-Hadi newspaper Aden al-Ghad published pictures of at least one wooden crate attached to a parachute, which it said had landed in Aden. Local men were seen loading the crates onto pick-up trucks.

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