Unrest throughout Yemen continues despite progress toward a political transition. Al Houthis control Sa’ada governorate in the north and are engaged in fighting with Salafists, and al Qaeda-linked militants control swathes of territory in south Yemen. The so-called “parallel revolution” seeks to oust officials close to President Ali Abdullah Saleh from their positions.
Ongoing labor strikes demand the resignation of corrupt officials from at least 19 state institutions, ranging from Yemen’s state television to the Sana’a police headquarters. The strikes, part of what has been dubbed Yemen’s “parallel revolution,” target officials close to the Saleh regime. Yemeni air force officers and soldiers in Sana’a, Taiz, Aden, Lahij, Hudaydah, Ma’rib, and Hadramawt continue to demand the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s half-brother, Mohammed Saleh al Ahmar, from his post as commander of the Air Force. In Taiz, Yemeni soldiers forced out their commander and his deputy, and selected Colonel Abdul Karim al Muhaya as a new commander, as reported by Mareb Press Monday. Republican Guard troops responded by laying siege to the base and arresting six soldiers.
Clashes between al Houthis and Salafists continue in north Yemen. An al Houthi source reported that Salafist fighters attacked al Houthi positions in Hajjah governorate and in Kitaf area in Sa’ada governorate Thursday. At least 22 people were killed in the latest round of fighting. There are also reports that the al Houthis have 12 Saudi nationals in custody who were fighting alongside the Salafists.
Yemeni military forces and al Qaeda-linked militants continue to fight near Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan. Military officials reported that at least six militants were killed Wednesday following two days of clashes. Clashes earlier in the week north of Zinjibar killed five militants. In Aden, a car bomb targeted Yemeni army colonel Sanad Badr Abdullah. The colonel survived Wednesday’s attack.
Islamist militants withdrew from Rada’a, a town in al Bayda seized on January 14, after tribal negotiations. Tareq al Dhahab, who led the militants, secured the release of his brother, along with 14 other al Qaeda suspects from prison in Sana’a, and had agreements with the local administration that shari’a would be instituted. Dhahab threatened to return should the terms not be met.
A radical Islamist news outlet covering Ansar al Sharia, the al Qaeda-linked militant group that seized control of parts of south Yemen, issued new reports on al Qaeda activity in the country. Notably, Ansar al Sharia has declared an Islamic emirate in Jaar, which it has renamed Waqar. Additionally, the reports focus Ansar al Sharia’s activities in the city, which include legal arbitration and the provision of public services. (Posts obtained and translated by SITE.)