What Happened: Yemeni forces affiliated with the Aden-based Southern Transitional Council (STC) have seized a handful of strategic government institutions, including the presidential palace and two military bases, according to an Aug. 11 announcement. In response, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry has accused the STC of staging a coup against the government. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahan is meeting with Saudi King Salman to discuss the security situation in Yemen.
Why It Matters: The STC is attempting to walk a careful line between asserting its political and military might while at the same time remaining loyal to Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government coalition fighting the Houthi rebels. The STC has also been demanding participation in U.N.-backed peace talks and a show of force — such as seizing strategic locations in Aden — might support its claim.
Background: The STC was formed in 2016 by bringing together like-minded southern leaders and activists who believe Yemen's southern regions deserve greater autonomy from the north. The STC retains closer political and security ties to the United Arab Emirates than to Saudi Arabia, but it has also been a key part of the anti-Houthi coalition.