Yemeni airstrikes targeted militant positions in Zinjibar in Abyan, killing three militants. Yemeni soldiers and al Qaeda-linked militants clashed in al Sima, on the western outskirts of Zinjibar. Four soldiers and six militants were killed in the fighting. Fifteen soldiers and twelve militants were wounded.
Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked group, showed a documentary film on the escape of operatives from the central jail in al Mukalla, which took place on June 22. The film was shown in Rawda in Shabwah governorate to an audience of about 200 people and ran for 110 minutes. Local residents have reported that militants have entered Shabwah governorate from neighboring Abyan.
A radical Islamist posted his observations from Abyan on the Shumukh al Islam web forum. He claimed that U.S. Marines were among five or six brigades of Yemeni forces that are gathering in Dofes in Abyan governorate. The writer reported that al Qaeda-linked militants were “preparing themselves for the Battle of al Fallujah in Abyan.” (Post obtained and translated by SITE.)
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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