Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked militant group, released a video of its fighters capturing Zinjibar. The militants are shown marching with the flags used by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State of Iraq. The video ends with a hadith: “Twelve-thousand will come out of Aden-Abyan to support Allah and His Messenger, and they are better than the people in the period between me and them.” (Video obtained and translated by SITE.)
Airstrikes outside Zinjibar killed at least 15 al Qaeda-linked militants. Seventeen other militants were reported injured. The strikes hit al Wahda (Unity) stadium, destroying a captured tank and artillery positions; al Amodiah between Zinjibar and Jaar; and al Khamilah, which militants used as a hideout. It is unclear whether these were Yemeni or American airstrikes.
Violence in Taiz killed at least four people. Two tribesmen and two soldiers were killed in clashes in a suburb to the north of Taiz. Tribesmen seized an army tank and destroyed another. Yemeni military aircraft were seen overhead.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh reiterated his call for dialogue to resolve the current political crisis. He added that any transition of power will occur through an electoral process.
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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