Dozens of unidentified foreign troops reported disembarking in the port of Aden turned out to be Chinese soldiers maintaining security as an unknown party opened fire on a vessel evacuating foreign citizens, a Yemeni official told Sputnik.
He added that Chinese soldiers have already left the port, though reportedly they did not manage to take with them all the people intended to evacuate, not all of the Chinese nationals.
The city of Aden has turned into battlefield as violent street-to-street fighting between advancing Houthi rebels and pro-president troops making a stand.
The data from medics and military suggest that up to 44 people have been killed in street clashes, AFP reports.
Earlier member of the Houthi political council Daifullah Shami told Sputnik that the foreign troops in Aden disembarked from Saudi and Egyptian vessels.
“The number of troopers who landed in the Yemen port of Aden is unknown, but we are talking about dozens. They were covered by several airplanes. They disembarked from Saudi and Egyptian ships,” said a member of Ansar Allah movement, Ahmad Al-Shami.
Saudi Arabian forces, joined by nine other countries, launched a military operation in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels in March.
The Saudi-led coalition has declared Yemeni airspace a “restricted zone.”The allies also claim to control the maritime area adjoining the port of Aden, allegedly captured by the Houthis.
Ships in the region have also been urged not to approach Yemen’s ports due to the ongoing military operation.
Yemen’s ousted officials have requested a ground intervention to bolster the air offensive. On March 31, Saudi authorities said they had gathered troops along the border with Yemen in preparation for any possible ground offensive, according to Reuters, adding that no exact time to send the troops in has yet been stipulated.