News / Middle East

Al-Qaida: September Attack Targeted Joint Yemeni-US Drone Base

Workers put up a billboard urging citizens to cooperate with security authorities in Sana'a, Yemen, September 30, 2013, the day of the suspected al-Qaida attack on an army base in the eastern city of al-Mukalla.
Workers put up a billboard urging citizens to cooperate with security authorities in Sana'a, Yemen, September 30, 2013, the day of the suspected al-Qaida attack on an army base in the eastern city of al-Mukalla.
Reuters
— The Yemen-based branch of al-Qaida said on Monday that its attack on a Yemeni army base last month targeted an operations room used by the United States to direct drone strikes against militants, and threatened more such assaults.

Dozens of militants stormed and captured the headquarters of the Yemeni army's Second Division in the eastern city of al-Mukalla on September 30 and took some military personnel hostage. Military officials said four Yemeni soldiers were killed and nine wounded in a counter-strike to retake the base.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is regarded by the United States as one of the most active wings of the diffuse international jihadi network, posing a serious threat to Western interests including nearby sea lanes plied by oil tankers.

AQAP said Yemen had turned a number of its military facilities in recent years into “intelligence and operations rooms to direct the war against the Mujahideen (holy fighters) and operate pilotless planes.”

”The Mujahideen have directed a harsh blow to one of these headquarters,” it said in a message posted on Shumukh al-Islam, an Islamist website, referring to the Sept. 30 attack.

”Such joint security targets, which participate with the Americans in their war on the Muslim people, are a legitimate target for our operations, and we will puncture these eyes that the enemy uses.”

It said that dozens of officers were killed in the three-day assault and the operations room was destroyed. AQAP made no mention of any Americans present in the facility and there were no reports of foreigners killed in the attack.

The authenticity of the statement could not immediately be verified.

Drones as weapon of choice

The United States regularly stages drone strikes to hunt down al-Qaida militants in a campaign that has been criticized by rights groups as tantamount to carrying out executions without trial, with civilians often being hit.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has angered many compatriots by giving unequivocal support for drone operations, which have increased since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Hadi has also asked Washington to supply drones to the Yemeni armed forces.

The Yemeni army, with U.S. backing, last year drove al-Qaida militants and their allies from some of their south Yemen strongholds. But the jihadists have since regrouped and mounted attacks on government officials and installations.

Militants took advantage of political chaos in Yemen during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 to seize control of some towns and their hinterland in the south of the Arabian Peninsula state.

They were subsequently beaten back by Yemeni armed forces, with assistance from the United States, and dispersed into smaller groups spread across the south.

But they have since carried out a series of attacks on important military and civilian targets, killing hundreds of soldiers and some senior officers, including Major General Salem Qatan, commander of the Yemeni army in southern Yemen.

You May Like

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid