Yemen’s Security Belt Forces repel al-Qaeda attack

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden


Fighters with the UAE-trained Security Belt Forces man a checkpoint near the Abyan province city of Zinjibar on August 21st. [Nabil Hasan/AFP]

Security Belt Forces in Abyan province's Mudiyah district on Tuesday (November 19th) repelled a dawn attack by al-Qaeda, the UAE-trained force said.

The attack, staged in al-Quz area, targeted several of the forces' commanders, the Security Belt Forces Operations Command said in a statement.

"The Security Belt Forces were attacked, but under the command of Nasr Basir al-Salehi, they were able to repel the attack and to dismantle an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the public road," the statement said.

The terrorists fled after several of their elements were killed or injured, it added.

The Security Belt Forces sustained no losses or casualties.

"There is a gap in security that is widening every day," political analyst Faisal Ahmed cautioned, commenting on the attack.

To rectify the situation, he told Al-Mashareq, the Riyadh agreement must be implemented soon, for the consolidation of security and military efforts against the terrorist groups in the south and the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) in the north.

Riyadh agreement 'must be implemented'

The Riyadh power-sharing agreement was signed between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Forces on November 5th.

It calls for the integration of armed and security forces into the defence and interior ministries, and "will consolidate their power in confronting the dangers that are facing the south, especially al-Qaeda", Ahmed said.

"Mudiyah has witnessed several terrorist attacks as a result of the confrontations that took place in August in Aden between the army and the STF," he noted.

"This substantiates the warnings of UN officials, to the effect that those who benefit from failure to implement the Riyadh agreement are terrorist groups and the Houthis," he said.

"This is happening on the ground right now, as a Security Belt Forces commander (Abdullah Abdul Muttalib), was killed in Mudiyah on October 4th," he said, noting that "two others were killed by masked gunmen on October 12th".

Al-Qaeda will try to exploit the situation, he warned, "and launch attacks on Abyan's central districts, including Mudiyah and other districts where there is disharmony between the Security Belt Forces and the army forces".

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