TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The United Arab Emirates pulled some of its forces from Yemen’s southern port of Aden on Tuesday, officials and witnesses said.

– World news –

Two officials told Reuters that an Emirati convoy boarded a military vessel at Buraiqa oil terminal near Aden refinery that had shipped out.

Four employees at the refinery said they saw a large convoy of military vehicles and three buses carrying around 200 troops headed toward the terminal.

Forces loyal to the ex-government of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the UAE-backed separatists are reportedly close to a deal that may help heal a deepening rift between the two sides.

Both the UAE-sponsored separatists and the Saudi-backed pro-Hadi militants serve the Riyadh-led coalition and have been engaged, since 2015, in a bloody war on Yemen aimed at reinstating Hadi and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement.

The former president resigned in 2014 and later fled to the Saudi capital.

Ties between the two sides have soured over a number of issues, including what the Yemenis view as Abu Dhabi’s intention to occupy Yemen’s strategic Socotra Island and gain dominance over the major waterways in the region.

The coalition has been struggling to defeat the popular Houthi movement since 2015 but has so far failed to do so.