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President Hadi returns to Yemen as forces ramp up fight against rebels

Hadi has returned to Yemen just as forces loyal to him launched an offensive to take back the city of Taiz. The country's Saudi-backed government has made progress in its ongoing war against Iran-backed rebels.

President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi returned on Tuesday to the city of Aden, where he is planning to oversee the military offensive launched recently to retake parts of the country from Houthi rebels.

Hadi, who had been living in exile in Saudi Arabia, returned to the provisional capital a day after government forces ramped up efforts to win back the city of Taiz from the Iran-supported militia group.

An official said he was planning "to assess the security situation and to oversee the merging of the resistance forces into the army and security forces," according to Reuters news agency,

It was not clear how long Hadi was planning to stay in the country. He has attempted to resettle in Yemen before; in September, his brief return was interrupted by a rebel attack on the provisional seat of government, forcing him to return to the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The Civil war in Yemen broke out in late March, putting Hadi's internationally recognized government against rebels loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Some 5,000 people - most of them civilians - have died in the ensuing conflict, according to the UN.

blc/jil (Reuters, AFP)

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