October 8, 2019 / 7:52 PM / 6 days ago

UAE pulls some forces from Yemen's Aden as deal nears to end standoff - witnesses

ADEN, Oct 8 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates pulled some of its forces from Yemen’s southern port of Aden on Tuesday, officials and witnesses said, as a Saudi-led military coalition works to end a power struggle between the Yemeni government and separatists in the city.

Two officials told Reuters that an Emirati convoy boarded a military vessel at Buraiqa oil terminal near Aden refinery that had shipped out. Four employees at the refinery said they saw a large convoy of military vehicles and three buses carrying around 200 troops headed towards the terminal.

The UAE government media office and the coalition spokesman did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), which is supported by the UAE, are close to a deal that would end the Aden standoff and see Saudi forces take temporary control of the city, four sources familiar with the negotiations earlier told Reuters.

STC is part of the Sunni Muslim alliance that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to restore the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after it was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the Houthis. But the separatists, who seek self-rule in the south, turned on the government in August and seized its interim seat of Aden. (Reporting by Reuters team in Yemen; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; editing by Grant McCool)

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