News / Middle East

Yemeni Troops Recapture Southern Cities from al-Qaida

Members of the Republican Guards Force gather for a group picture at the frontline of fighting against al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, June 10, 2012. Members of the Republican Guards Force gather for a group picture at the frontline of fighting against al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, June 10, 2012.
x
Members of the Republican Guards Force gather for a group picture at the frontline of fighting against al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, June 10, 2012.
Members of the Republican Guards Force gather for a group picture at the frontline of fighting against al Qaeda-linked militants in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, June 10, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Michael LipinMargaret Besheer
Yemeni officials say government troops have recaptured two al-Qaida strongholds in the country's south after a month-long offensive against the militant group, which seized the areas more than a year ago.

Officials said Tuesday that Yemeni troops and their tribal allies took full control of Abyan's provincial capital, Zinjibar, and the town of Jaar to the north. They said government forces also re-opened a major highway linking Abyan with the southern port of Aden.

Yemeni officials said troops drove into Jaar early Tuesday after a battle that killed 20 militants and four soldiers. Residents celebrated the soldiers' arrival by firing weapons into the air. Hours later, officials said the troops completed the takeover of Zinjibar.

Al-Qaida militants seized parts of Abyan last year while the government was pre-occupied with fighting a pro-democracy uprising against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh. His successor Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi launched a U.S.-backed military offensive last month to recapture those areas.

Yemeni Troops Recapture Cities From al-Qaida (View Photo Gallery)

x
  • Army soldiers guard the gate of the local authority's compound in the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar after the army retook the city from al-Qaida-linked militants, June 12, 2012.
  • A military vehicle and tanks drive near the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar after the army retook the city from al-Qaida-linked militants, June 12, 2012.
  • A building damaged during fighting between army forces and al-Qaida-linked militants in the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar, June 12, 2012.
  • Army tanks drive on a street in the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar, June 12, 2012.
  • Yemen's Defence Minister Major General Ahmad visits the front line of fighting between army forces and al-Qaida-linked militants in Abyan, June 10, 2012.
  • Members of the Republican Guards Force at the front line of fighting against al-Qaida-linked militants in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, June 10, 2012.
  • Yemeni army forces fire a missile towards positions of al-Qaida-linked militants in Abyan, June 10, 2012.

Yemeni Troops Recapture Cities From al-Qaida (View Photo Gallery)

Government victory

Brookings Doha Center conflict resolution expert Ibrahim Sharqieh told VOA the fall of the al-Qaida strongholds represents a major victory for Mr. Hadi, who took office in February.

Speaking by phone from Qatar, he said he expects Yemeni troops to advance on another city, Shuqra, in the coming days.

"If the army is able to take this city back, then we should be talking about al-Qaida disappearing from major cities in Abyan," he said.

Sharqieh said one factor contributing to al-Qaida's downfall in the region is that local communities turned against the group.

"They have showed whether it is in the first city of Lawdar or now in Jaar or Zinjibar that the local militia, local communities collaborated highly with the Yemeni army and they fought alongside to expel al-Qaida fighters from their cities," he said. "This has been truly a key factor for their success."

The Brookings expert said President Hadi's ability to take control of army divisions from allies of his predecessor also helped the Yemeni military's fight against al-Qaida.

Mr. Saleh's critics had long accused him of holding back the military from defeating al-Qaida in order to fuel instability in the country and justify a continuation of his three-decade long autocratic rule.

UN warning

The military moves come as the U.N. Security Council sent a strong message Tuesday to all stakeholders in Yemen’s political process, saying if they undermine the country’s political transition to democracy they could face international sanctions.

The 15-nation Security Council voted unanimously for a resolution calling on all Yemeni actors to reject violence, hold an inclusive national dialogue and stop undermining the political transition put in motion.

If that fails, the council will consider sanctions against those obstructing the process.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who was one of the sponsors of the text, said potential spoilers should read the resolution carefully.

“Because it makes clear that any spoilers, those who are trying to disrupt the transition, disrupt the national dialogue, disrupt the national unity government, will be held accountable," he said. "And the council expresses itself ready to adopt measures under Article 41, which as you know, includes various sanctions measures for all those who are trying to spoil the process.”

Yemen’s Ambassador Jamal Al Salal welcomed the resolution. He said Yemen has made significant progress, but difficulties and challenges persist. He said the country is facing a deteriorating humanitarian situation and shortages of basic services and security threats.

Lipin reported from Washington and Besheer from the United Nations.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bahlwl from: yemen
June 13, 2012 3:54 PM
Ali Abdulla Saleh and his son are supporting al-Qaida to make Yemen not steady


by: Bahlwl from: yemen
June 13, 2012 3:45 PM
That the United States victory
Our victory will be when Ali Abdulla Saleh and his son go out from Yemen

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid