Al-Qaeda In Arabian Peninsula Extends Zone Of Control In Southern Yemen

12 June 2011

By Markaz Kavkaz

Western sources acknowledge that despite the military efforts of Saleh regime and the participation of US aircraft in military operations, the Mujahideen of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Muslim groups allied with it have not only retained control over Zinjibar and the province of Abyan, which was proclaimed the Islamic Emirate of Abyan, but also extend its presence in the neighboring provinces of Shabwa and Hadramawt.

Local residents reported that the Mujahideen set up roadblocks and checkpoints on the roads, organizing bases and training camps. During the hostilities, the AQAP Mujahideen captured the town of Rawdah and Houtah in the province of Shabwa.

Roadblocks and checkpoints of the Mujahideen appeared at the border of province of Hadramawt.

Local residents reported that many Yemeni clans in the south of the country are loyal to al-Qaeda. They often carry out joint military operations against the army units of the Yemeni army.

Several thousand Mujahideen are concentrated in the city of Zinjibar. Meanwhile, according to the US, the direct members of al-Qaeda are several hundred people. Americans do not give any data to explain on what basis these figures are.

Western media outlets suggest that America has dramatically increased bombardments of southern Yemen after thousands of Mujahideen took control over the provincial capital city of Abyan, Zinjibar, and announced the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Abyan.

Meanwhile, the military command of the Yemeni army admits that the soldiers refuse to fight with the Mujahideen.

Shabwa-based army Lt. Col. Hassan Radwan said in an interview with Western reporters that military knew the whereabouts of Al Qaeda bases in the province as well as their training camps, but the soldiers refused to shoot, saying that armed groups of local tribal clans are at these bases.

Sources of the Western media outlets have also reported that the Mujahideen of al-Qaeda feel absolutely free, even in the province of Hadramawt, where according to one local democratic activist named Nasser, they "quietly playing dominoes, drinking coffee in local cafes".

The United States have also expressed concern over the fact that according to intelligence units of the al-Qaeda are present in the second largest Yemeni city of Taiz, who together with local armed clans expelled forces of Saleh's regime from the city.

Meanwhile a demonstration with participation of one hundred thousandth of Yemenis held in Sanaa on Friday. They demanded the immediate formation of a transitional interim board, which must organize elections.

At the same time several thousand supporters of President Saleh rallied in another area of ??the city, who spoke in support of his return to the country after treatment in Saudi Arabia.

In turn, the US has again urged supporters of Saleh immediately to arrange a peaceful transfer of power in order to stabilize the situation and send all the forces of the Yemeni army and the new democratic regime against the Mujahideen of al-Qaeda.



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