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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Yemen’s unrest has benefitted al Qaeda. Widespread protests continue throughout the country and tribesmen in Sana’a and Taiz have taken up arms against the Yemeni military.

An al Qaeda-linked militant posted a report on events in Abyan on a jihadist forum. The militant reported that al Qaeda-linked militants had successfully prevented the reinforcement of the 25th mechanized brigade, besieged in Zinjibar, by fighting Yemeni troops en route from Aden. He also claimed that 25 soldiers were being held captive. Local Aden sources report that an airstrike in Wadi Hassan, east of Zinjibar, killed five al Qaeda-linked militants.

Tribesmen attacked an army unit outside of the capital. Fighting broke out between tribesmen and Yemen’s 3rd Mountain Infantry Brigade in Arhab district of Sana’a. At least one soldier has been killed. A tribal leader reported that eight of his fighters had been killed. Yemen’s defense ministry accused a defected army unit of assisting the tribesmen.

Security forces fired on protestors. Yemen’s Central Security Forces fired on protestors camped out in Taiz. Yemeni security forces fired on anti-government demonstrators in Ibb and in al Bayda governorates.

Yemen’s foreign minister, Abu Bakr al Qirbi, reiterated that the president would only transfer power through elections. Qirbi said that al Qaeda has benefited most from the unrest and that failure to reach a political agreement could have significant consequences for Yemen: “The worst case scenario unfortunately maybe civil war, maybe fragmentation of the country.”

A resolution to the political crisis in the capital will not end the fragmentation of the Yemeni state, which remains at risk of a broader armed conflict. The current situation has increased al Qaeda's operating space in Yemen.

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