Hundreds demonstrated in the Yemeni island of Socotra on Monday to demand the expulsion of forces of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), which is backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Waving Yemeni flag, protesters chanted slogans in support of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and in rejection of the STC’s self-rule.

A statement issued by the demonstrators called for ending all forms of military presence in the island and reiterated support for efforts by the internationally recognized government to maintain peace and security in the island.

Yemen’s southern provinces have witnessed repeated clashes between government forces and STC fighters since the latter declared self-rule in Aden late April.

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in March 2015 after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa and forced President Hadi to flee the country.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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