The Southern Transitional Council (STC), a Yemeni separatist group with close ties the United Arab Emirates, made the bold move on Jan. 30 to assert its will on Yemeni politics. After a day of clashes, the STC seized control of most of Aden from the government of internationally recognized President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi. Though the STC eventually wants to re-establish an independent South Yemen, its recent moves in the strategic southern port were not specifically motivated by that desire. Instead, the STC intended to gain a political foothold and acquire strategic territory to boost its position in Yemen, especially in the eyes of the coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the north.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the most important members of the anti-Houthi coalition, of which the Southern Transitional Council is a part. The STC's moves threaten that fight at a critical time, directly contradicting Saudi...
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