Months of relentless shelling and airstrikes have left most of Yemen’s second city of Aden in ruins. While the battle for ultimate control continues, the final victor is likely to preside over a largely destroyed city, with only its refinery and port still functioning.
In Aden the outward appearance of the conflict bears many similarities with the country’s previous north-versus-south civil war of 1994.
The defenders are the Southern Resistance, a motley force made up of local residents, former commanders of the army of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) – the state which existed in the south and east of the country before Yemen was united in 1990 – plus those fighting for their Sunni kinsmen against what they perceive as an attempt at a Shia takeover, in addition to a small number of Al-Qaeda militants. Their ultimate goals differ as much as their motivations. But, for now, they share a common enemy.