Control over Zinjibar and the surrounding areas remains contested. Yemeni airstrikes killed allied tribesmen from the Fadl tribe east of Zinjibar. The tribesmen had been fighting al Qaeda-linked militants in cooperation with the Yemeni military. Clashes have intensified in the days prior to the start of the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is set to begin on August 1.
Yemeni tribes formally allied against the regime. Tribal leaders from the northern-based Hashid and Bakil tribal confederations met in Sana’a on Saturday to unite against the Saleh regime. Hashid tribal confederation leader Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar was elected to head the coalition. The tribes released a statement that read, “Any attack on the supporters of the revolution is an attack on the tribes.”
Clashes continue north of the capital. Fighting between the government and tribesmen in Arhab, north of Sana’a, is ongoing. The Arhab tribe released a statement threatening to attack Sana’a International Airport should the government’s offensive in their territory continue.
Protests continue despite calls for dialogue. President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for an end to anti-government demonstrations and for a political agreement to be reached during the month of Ramadan. Protestors demonstrated against the government in Sana’a, Ibb, Taiz, Hudaydah, and Mukalla, among other cities, on Friday.
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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