Situation Report Yemen Situation Report

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Yemen Situation Report Situation Report

Authors

Katherine Zimmerman and Marisa Cochrane Sullivan

Latest Edition

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Political negotiations in Sana’a draw attention away from the fragmentation of the Yemeni state. Al Qaeda-linked militants have made significant gains in the south and the al Houthi rebels have seized territory in the north.

The Yemeni military has not been able to defeat al Qaeda-linked militants in Abyan governorate. A Yemeni airstrike targeting a militant checkpoint between Jaar and Zinjibar in Abyan governorate killed five militants, according to a security official. There were at least eight airstrikes in the area on Tuesday. Local officials reported that six militants had been killed in fighting. Tribesmen claim to have regained control of Mudia in Abyan, an al Qaeda stronghold, and are seeking to establish a tribal alliance between the tribes in northern Abyan governorate.

Incidents of violence are occurring throughout the country. Regime loyalists attacked protestors in the central square of the western port city, Hudaydah. At least one person was killed and over 150 others were injured. Artillery and rocket fire in Arhab district of Sana’a governorate killed at least five people. Heavy shooting was also reported in Taiz. Saudi Arabia reported that illegal border-crossing arrests doubled in June due to the unrest.

Al Houthi rebels have taken up arms to protect recent gains. Fresh fighting between tribesmen and al Houthi rebels broke out in al Jawf governorate. The al Houthi rebels had taken control of an army base two months ago and refused to hand over control of the base.  At least 23 people have been killed since the clashes began on Friday.

The Yemeni opposition remains divided in its demands. Yemen’s youth movement has announced its support for President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s return as an “honorary” president. Saleh would cede all authority to the vice president, but would remain in the presidency to oversee the transitional period. Yemen’s political opposition bloc has called for an escalation against the regime.

A resolution to the political crisis in the capital will not end the fragmentation of the Yemeni state. The current situation has increased al Qaeda's operating space in Yemen.

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