The coalition overnight on Saturday renewed a call for the separatist forces to withdraw from all sites they have recently captured in Aden.
The seizure of military bases of supporters of fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi by separatist fighters a week ago has complicated United Nations efforts to end Yemen’s war and has exposed strains in the coalition formed four years ago to battle the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to Hadi.
The separatists, backed by coalition member the United Arab Emirates, are a major component in the alliance. But the war has rekindled old strains between north and south Yemen - formerly separate countries until 1990.
The coalition statement called for dialogue and said all forces in the south should unite under the coalition to fight the Houthis, Reuters reported.
Saudi state TV said separatist forces would withdraw from the interior ministry and Aden refinery on Saturday, but coalition statements did not mention these specific locations.
Local officials have previously told Reuters that while separatist forces had moved away from the nearly empty presidential palace and central bank, there was no sign they were quitting the military camps which give them effective control of the city.
“We will not retreat, we will not budge and planes will not scare us,” a statement from one of the brigades fighting as part of the southern separatists said, in response to Saturday’s flares and low-flying war planes.
According to the statement, and other reports on Thursday, a Saudi delegation had been in Aden to oversee withdrawals.
A spokesman for the separatist fighters said last week they would not cede control unless the Islah party, a backbone of Hadi’s former government, and northerners were removed from positions of power in the south.
Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by the Saudi-led coalition for more than four years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies, including the UAE, have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to Hadi.
Official UN figures say that more than 15,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led bombing campaign began.
The Saudi-led war has impacted over seven million children in Yemen who now face a serious threat of famine, according to UNICEF figures. Over 6,000 children have either been killed or sustained serious injuries since 2015, UN children’s agency said. The humanitarian situation in the country has also been exacerbated by outbreaks of cholera, polio, and measles.