Fighting broke out in Sana’a between opposition tribesmen and Yemeni government forces. Hashid tribesmen and elite Republican Guard troops briefly clashed in al Hasaba district in the capital Friday. Sana’a International Airport canceled flights due to security concerns; opposition tribesmen had issued a statement threatening to attack the airport. Defected General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar has threatened to attack the presidential palace if the Republican Guards continue to attack defected troops stationed at his compound, which is south of the palace.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been released from a Saudi hospital and was moved to a government residence. Yemen’s foreign minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi noted that Yemen needs a political, not a military, solution to end the current crisis. Yemenis turned out in large numbers to protest Saleh’s regime Friday. At least one protestor was killed in Taiz when security forces opened fire on the crowd.
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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