Abyan tribesmen claim to have killed Yassir al Shalily, a leader of the al Qaeda-linked militant group Ansar al Sharia (Supporters of Islamic Law), in Mudia in Abyan governorate. Tribesmen took up arms against the militants in mid-July, but have been unable to regain control of territory. Fighting has been ongoing in Zinjibar and surrounding areas in Abyan governorate.
A post on the radical Islamist Ansar al Mujahideen web forum reported on developments in Abyan. The writer reported that al Qaeda-linked militants killed a sheikh who had threatened the militants, the security director or Shaqra, a city to the east of Zinjibar, and the “commander of the Abyan axis.” (Post obtained and translated by SITE.)
Yemen’s political opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) is set to form a national assembly. The JMP announced that a meeting to be held on August 17 will establish the assembly, which will then form an umbrella council for opposition groups.
Attacks on government and military targets in Aden continue. Gunmen killed one soldier and wounded a second when they attacked a security patrol in Aden. Attackers also threw two hand grenades at a government building in Aden, damaging the exterior.
A ceasefire has been put into place in Taiz. The ceasefire agreement calls for elite Republican Guard units to return to base and for armed tribesmen to leave the street. A late June agreement collapsed in early August.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) issued a statement noting its concerns over the threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the deteriorating security situation in Yemen. The UNSC urged all parties to participate in a Yemeni-led political transition 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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