Tensions run high in eastern Yemen as 400 militants group in gas liquefaction facility

Tensions run high in eastern Yemen as 400 militants group in gas liquefaction facility

Tensions are getting higher in the eastern Yemeni province of Shabwa as 400 separatist militants have reportedly gathered in the gas liquefaction and export facility of Balhaf instead of evacuating it as per the calls of the Yemeni government.

Local sources said the Yemeni army "set up checkpoints near the gate of Balhaf" the country's biggest industrial project, on Sunday, a couple of days after it learnt that the UAE forces occupying the facility have amassed 400 Shabwani Elite militiamen and carried out military training with heavy live ammunition close to the sensitive facility.

After the local governor Mohammed Bin Edeiw last week called on Emirati forces and UAE-backed local Southern Transitional Council militia to end the occupation and militarization of the facility, the UAE forces responded with more amassing of mercenaries, weapons and threat messages with warplane flights.

A UAE military officer reportedly threatened on Friday: "We will not evacuate it even if we totally burn it down"

A statement by the government's local Security Committee on Saturday called on all "the armed recruits in Bahaf gas facility to quickly evacuate the facility to save their lives."

The statement accused the UAE forces of using the facility and military camps to "mobilize the [UAE-backed] Southern Transitional Council paramilitary forces against the local government" in Shabwa.

The Yemeni government has repeatedly tried to dislodge the UAE from the facility to allow Yemen to resume exporting gas to prop up its economy and alleviate the country's humanitarian crisis known as the worst in the world amidst. The government's calls are often met with UAE defiance and display of air force.


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