Forces of the southern separatist group the Southern Transitional Council (STC) clashed with government forces on the strategic island of Socotra on Friday, June 19. The clashes broke out after the STC sent a large number of reinforcements to the island's capital Hadibu. The STC troops reportedly took control of the Socotra security directorate in the west of Hadibu and other state facilities. Government forces are believed to have withdrawn to locations outside Socotra's capital. No casualty figures from the fighting have been confirmed.
Further fighting is likely on Socotra island in the coming days, particularly around key infrastructure.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and deadly conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered into a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. Nominally allies against the Houthi, since August 2019 the Southern Transitional Council (STC) has frequently clashed with government forces over the rule of southern Yemen. Although there have been attempts to broker agreement between the two, tensions have increased since the STC declared self-rule on Aden and other key southern provinces in April 2020.
Due to poor security conditions, many Western governments strongly advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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