Yemen’s president announced again that he is will to transfer power once a transition agreement is reached. Political developments toward a resolution to the political crisis will not, however, guarantee progress against al Qaeda-linked militants that have secured territory in south Yemen.
Yemeni military forces continue to fight al Qaeda-linked militants in Abyan governorate. Yemeni army shelling killed Addul Ghaffour Hashem al Zayati, also known as Abu Mughira, and other al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar Monday. Zayati, a Moroccan, has been described as a militant leader. Xinhua reported that al Qaeda-linked militants, under the name of Ansar al Sharia, captured al Kod in Abyan governorate.
Fighting between al Houthi rebels and local tribesmen killed four people and injured several others in al Jawf. Abdul Malik al Houthi’s office released a statement claiming that the group had stopped an al Qaeda suicide bomber.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video describing its activities in south Yemen. AQAP military commander Qasim al Raymi speaks at the beginning of the video. He noted AQAP’s support for the revolutions in the Arab world and said that al Qaeda had been active in “fighting these corrupt agent regimes, refusing their legitimacy” and calling for an uprising against them. Raymi claimed that the Yemeni forces fighting various opposition groups in Sana’a and Taiz were trained by the United States. Raymi added that AQAP was active in Zinjibar and Abyan governorate in the fight against Yemeni forces. Also appearing in the video is AQAP spiritual leader Sheikh Ibrahim al Rubaish, a former Guantanamo detainee. (Video obtained and translated by SITE.)
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that he would step down from power 90 days after the signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agreement. Saleh noted that once the deal is accepted by both sides, the agreed-upon timetable for his departure would begin. UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar met with opposition leaders, including defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, Monday.
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