The prime minister and vice-president of Yemen, Khaled Bahah, fled the country with several of his ministers in October, after Iran-backed Houthi insurgents attacked the palace where they were living.
On Monday, Bahah and his Cabinet returned from Saudi Arabia to the Yemeni port city of Aden, even as a Saudi airstrike is said to have killed a Houthi-supporting judge and his entire family.
The Associated Press describes Bahah’s return as an effort to “establish a permanent government presence in Aden.” Aden will have to do for a seat of power, since the Houthis presently control the capital of Sanaa.
Turkey’s Anadolu news agency quotes an anonymous source saying Bahah and his ministers will “assume the task of running the country’s affairs” from their redoubt in Aden.
Russian propaganda outlet RT.com describes the judge killed in the Saudi airstrike, Yahya Rubaid, as a “Houthi-appointed national security court judge” who “prosecuted cases against militant groups including al-Qaeda,” and also “presided over treason cases against President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and other ousted opponents of the Houthis.”
According to this report, seven members of Rubaid’s family were killed in the Saudi missile strike, wiping out the entire family except for one of Rubaid’s sons.
The Associated Press reports that over 20 fighters from both sides of the civil war were killed during fierce fighting in the northern Jawf province over the weekend.
Andalou relays a report from a Yemeni TV network linked to the Houthis, which says the insurgents were able to thwart a Saudi Army advance on the town of Al-Raboah – a Saudi border city captured by the Houthis – despite air cover from the Saudi coalition. Also, Houthi forces were said to have killed a number of Saudi troops in “special operations” on the outskirts of the southwestern cities of Al-Jizan and Tuwal in southwestern Saudi Arabia.
Saudi television painted a sharply different picture of the fighting, which reported only a single Saudi casualty, while claiming 21 Houthis were killed during “an exchange of fire in Jizan’s Al-Harth district.”