The Popular Resistance Committees, consisting of pro-army tribesmen defeated security forces allied to Yemen's Houthi militias, seizing Aden's intelligence headquarters, television station, power station and economic bureau offices, sources told Reuters. According to medics, four people were killed as a result of clashes at the television station. Yemen's defense ministry confirmed the clashes, but denied the seizure of the television station.
The clashes follow Sunday's declaration by leaders of three southern provinces, which formed a group opposed to the recent Houthi takeover, which they branded a "coup."
The new development threatens to split the country in two, as the Houthi-dominated north of the country, primarily Shia, is now facing hostile forces among ex-president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's supporters in the primarily Sunni south. Prior to 1990, South Yemen was a separate country with a capital in Aden, while North Yemen's capital was the current Sanaa.
Also on Monday, Turkey temporarily closed its embassy in Yemen, following Saudi Arabia, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Spain and Japan.
Yemen's Houthi militias took over the central government on January 5, following the lapse of an ultimatum to the country's president, which ordered him to resign and follow the terms of a previously negotiated power-sharing agreement. The takeover has been vehemently opposed by Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf monarchies which take part in the Gulf Cooperation Council.