Yemeni forces gear up to crush Al-Qaeda resurgence in south

Yemeni forces gear up to crush Al-Qaeda resurgence in south
Yemen's elite forces have launched an offensive on Al-Qaeda militants who have long had a presence in the country's south
2 min read
04 July, 2022
Yemeni forces want to stop a resurgence of AQAP in the country's south [Getty]

Yemeni forces are gearing up for a full-scale offensive against Al-Qaeda in the fractured country’s south amid reports that the militant group is remobilising.

The governorates of Abyan and Shabwa have witnessed preparations from Yemen’s internationally recognised military, which is planning to expel Al-Qaeda militants who have for years led an insurgency and based themselves in the area.

Abdul Rahman Al-Shonini, commander of counterterrorism forces in Abyan, was quoted by Arab News as saying the campaign was launched after receiving information that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was gathering in remote valleys and mountains to launch attacks against government troops in the south.

He said elite counterterrorism troops have been deployed in mountains and valleys in Abyan, which lies east of Yemen’s de-facto capital Aden.

AQAP’s presence in the region dates back to the late 1990s.

It has long been considered the global network’s most dangerous branch and has attempted to carry out attacks on the US mainland.

It is active in several regions of Yemen and has taken advantage of the years-long civil war there to make inroads.

Other organisations have flourished in Yemen’s conflict, such as the Islamic State group.

The war in Yemen - which erupted in 2014 and pits Iran-backed Houthi rebels against the Saudi-backed internationally recognised government - has killed hundreds of thousands of people, left millions on the brink of famine, and much of the country in ruins.