Arab Coalition ends two decades of Al Qaeda terrorism in Yemen

ABU DHABI, 26th March, 2018 (WAM) — The Arab Coalition supporting the legitimate regime in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia with support from the UAE, succeeded in ending the danger posed by the Al Qaeda in Yemen.

During three years of military operations, Arab Coalition aircraft bombed Al Qaeda locations, targeted its leaders, and secured the borders of Yemen, to prevent the recruitment of new terrorists and eliminate the dangers to maritime navigation in Bab Al Mandab.

Its military operations significantly weakened Al Qaeda in Yemen and forced it to leave its key strongholds, after it suffered severe losses that eliminated most of its personnel, who represented a threat for over two decades.

The Arab Coalition also stopped the establishment of terrorist statelets in Yemen, as well as in several other Arab countries, and prevented the expansion of these two terrorist organisations that threaten international peace and security.

The Al Qaeda represented a threat that was equal to the Houthi militias and is still a target that the Coalition must eliminate, to ensure the stability of Yemen and the region. It has been present in Yemen since the 1990s and had dominated large areas, especially those close to international maritime navigation corridors in Bab Al Mandab.

It also attacked civil and military targets both inside and outside the region. In 2000, it bombed the USS Cole, and in 2002, it bombed the French oil tanker, Limburg, as well as many oil pipelines in eastern areas.

Al Qaeda also carried out many attacks between 2011 and 2015, which enabled it to dominate many cities in the South of Yemen and Zanzibar, as well as the Sanaa bombing, the bloodiest bombing in the history of Yemen that killed and injured 296 victims.

The events that took place in many areas of Yemen between 2014 and 2015 highlighted the close relations between Houthi militias and the Al Qaeda, as they both threatened the country’s safety and security and local and regional peace.

The Houthi militias and the other forces supporting the coup in Yemen used the presence of the Al Qaeda in the south of the country, especially in Lahij, Aden and Abyan, to dominate and invade these areas, and then withdraw from them in a suspicious deal that guaranteed that the two organisations remained in control, in exchange for oil and secure roads for smuggling arms from Iran through the south-eastern coast of Yemen.

All these factors drove the Arab Coalition into taking the decision to launch military operations against the two terrorist organisations.

The UAE played a key role in leading the war on terrorism in Yemen, through supporting the Yemeni Army and Popular Resistance while the Shabwa and Hadramaut elites forces also played important roles in battles against the terrorist groups.

On 25th April 2016, the Arab Coalition announced the launch of a joint military operation against the Al Qaeda in Yemen, which included the Yemeni Army and Special Forces from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The operation killed over 800 Al Qaeda fighters and some of its leaders while the rest fled.

In April of the same year, the Hadramaut elite forces launched a surprise military operation, supported by the UAE Armed Forces, to liberate Mukalla and its port, as well as various Hadramaut districts, from the Al Qaeda and end its ambition to establish an Islamic emirate.

Following the liberation of Aden in mid-2016, there was a security vacuum in the governorate. The Security Belt Forces were subsequently formed with two military brigades, under the direct supervision of the Arab Coalition Forces in Aden.

The Security Belt Forces captured dozens of Al Qaeda terrorists and other armed persons who were suspected of being involved in assassinations.

They also regained control of the local government headquarters and expelled the Al Qaeda from Al Hawta and other areas of Lahij Governorate, as well as from Abyan, by securing these regions and conducting military operations, aided and supported by the UAE Armed Forces.

The Shabwa elite forces regained control of many districts of Shabwa Governorate in August 2017, including Mifaa, Al Rawda and Haban, after chasing out the Al Qaeda and enabling the local government to resume its activities.

The year 2018 witnessed two key military operations against the terrorist groups. The first, titled, “Al Faisal,” aims to clear Wadi Al Massini of Al Qaeda terrorists while the second, titled, “The Decisive Sword,” aims to expel Al Qaeda from the Saeed District in Shabwa.


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