Al-Qaeda exploits tension in Yemen to launch attacks

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

Fighters with the UAE-trained Security Belt Forces gather near the south-central coastal city of Zinjibar in Abyan province, on August 21st. [Nabil Hasan/AFP]

Fighters with the UAE-trained Security Belt Forces gather near the south-central coastal city of Zinjibar in Abyan province, on August 21st. [Nabil Hasan/AFP]

Two Security Belt Forces soldiers were killed and another was wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by suspected al-Qaeda elements exploded in Abyan province on Thursday (August 22nd), local media reported.

The IED was planted on a public road outside a Security Belt Forces camp in al-Mahfad district.

The victims are from the Security Belt Forces’ rapid response units.

The UAE-trained troops have conducted a large-scale sweep of the area "to secure the district and clear it of al-Qaeda terrorists", al-Mahfad director-general Ahmed al-Rabie told Al-Mashareq.

"Al-Qaeda seeks to target the Security Belt Forces and other units in al-Mahfad because these forces recaptured the area from the terrorists who had controlled it for years," he said.

Al-Qaeda exploits tensions

Al-Qaeda is closely watching the situation in the southern provinces to carry out terror attacks by taking advantage of the prevailing tension, after the Southern Transitional Forces (STC) drove government troops out of al-Kawd and Zinjibar military camps in Abyan, political analyst Faisal Ahmed told Al-Mashareq.

The two sides engaged in deadly clashes on August 20th, before the separatists took control of the two camps, reinforcing their presence in the south.

The latest clashes in Abyan came after the pro-independence STC partially withdrew from key sites it occupied in neighbouring Aden earlier this month after Saudi-brokered peace talks.

This conflict "will only serve the terrorists whom the security and military forces, supported by the Arab Coalition, had already ousted from Abyan", Ahmed said.

Security Belt Forces on August 2nd responded to an al-Qaeda attack on an army base in al-Mahfad, in which 19 soldiers were killed.

Gunmen stormed the army base and remained inside for several hours before military reinforcements came.

"Al-Qaeda's attack on the Security Belt Forces camp was thwarted because security forces, supported by the Shabwa Elite Forces and Arab Coalition, acted jointly," Ahmed said, urging for continued co-operation between them in order to not allow for al-Qaeda and the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) to regroup and launch more attacks.

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Your turn will come, o, dwarves of the Gulf! You’ll pay for every drop of blood you spilled in vain in our country. We made a huge mistake when we sought your help to stand by our side against the Iran-backed Houthi militia. We didn’t know that you’re the other face of Iran. God suffices me and He is the best disposer of affairs against you, o, mean, despicable rulers of Gulf! By God, you’re the most despicable creatures on the face of the earth!


This is a game of Zayed’s sons and Salman’s sons; they can play it with America, but we don’t have al-Qaeda or "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), o, dogs of Gulf!


Al-Qaeda is al-Islah, who is a face of corruption.


There is no al-Qaeda or al-Islah; these are just UAE-Saudi-American hoaxes to extort the Arab world and tear it apart. However, the easy-going Gulf rulers don’t understand!


You’ve said the truth. It’s America that supports the terrorist groups to justify its intervention under the pretext of combating terrorism. In fact, its forces are shelling civilians.


This is a distortion of truth and a falsification of facts. This is an aggression by the UAE warplanes on members of Yemen's national army.