ADEN: The Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen sent a “limited” force to the city of Aden Sunday, Yemeni sources said, in what would be its first ground deployment inside the country.
A spokesman for the coalition denied that a major ground force has landed, refusing to comment on “ongoing operations”.
But Yemeni government and militia forces said several dozen troops had landed in the main southern city, with some sources saying they were to assist in fighting for its international airport.
An AFP journalist saw several men in the vicinity of the airport dressed in military-style clothing, wearing helmets and carrying sophisticated weaponry.
“A limited coalition force entered Aden and another force is on its way” to the port city, a Yemeni government official in Aden told AFP, requesting anonymity.
The coalition launched air strikes against the Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their allies on March 26 after they seized control of large parts of the country and advanced on Aden, where President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi had taken refuge.
Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia and the Huthis — who have joined forces with army units loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh — have refused to concede territory or down arms despite international pressure.