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Yemen update 11/20\2015.. carbombs attack on the world oldest skyscrapers at Shibam Hadhramaut

Friday, November 20, 2015 20:48
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(Before It's News)

Saudi airstrikes kill 10 in Yemen

Caught On Tape: Suicide Bomber Detonates As Al-Qaeda Storms Checkpoint In Yemen

These days it’s all about ISIS which means that al-Qaeda – the once proud bastion of international terrorism – has been relegated to also-ran status as the group struggles to compete in the face of Islamic State’s propaganda juggernaut.

ISIS, via its Furat Media arm, is alarmingly effective at recruiting new members as slickly produced, 1080p depictions of battlefield victories and gruesome executions paint a picture of an extremist army on the rise, running roughshod over the enemies of the “caliphate.” Contrast this with images of al-Qaeda’s bespectacled leader Ayman al-Zawahiri sitting in front of a home movie camera ruminating on topics that, when compared to the grand pronouncements that emanate from ISIS, seem to belong to some bygone jihadist era when “principles” still mattered.

But al-Qaeda is still out there believe it or not (even as ISIS refers to them as a bunch of donkeys) and one of the more active cells is AQAP in Yemen who, you’re reminded, was behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Of course AQAP now finds itself in the middle of Yemen’s civil war and the fact that the Houthis are Shiite and are backed by Tehran means AQAP and the Saudi-led coalition are effectively on the same side – for now. Of course AQAP also opposes the Hadi government, which will complicate matters should Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE succeed in restoring the President. Incidentally, Hadi returned to Aden from exile earlier this week. This is his second “trimuphant” return. He visited Aden back in Septemeber and left after three days. The Prime Minister fled to Riyadh last month after ISIS tried to blow him up.

So ultimately, this is just the same proxy war in a different theatre. The difference between Yemen and Syria is that in Syria, the Saudis and Qatar are fighting via proxies while Iran and Hezbollah are there in the flesh, while in Yemen, Iran is fighting via a proxy while Riyadh and Doha are there in the flesh.

In any event, AQAP stormed a government checkpoint (remember, AQAP is with the Saudis on the whole “rout the Houthis” mission, but not on the “restore Hadi” push) in Shibam, which is colloquially known as “the Manhattan of the desert” for its densely packed “skyscrapers”:

Here’s Reuters:

At least 15 Yemeni soldiers and 14 militants have been killed in an attack by al Qaeda on a military post in the eastern region of Hadramawt, a security source said.

Although Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has controlled the southern Hadramawt city of Mukalla and surrounding areas since early this year, it has not staged attacks on army positions elsewhere in the province for months.

The attack began with a suicide bomber detonating an explosive in his car at the military post, between the towns of Shibam and al-Qatn, followed by an assault by 25-30 militants, the security source said. Clashes in the area were still going on, he said.

Unverified footage on social media that purported to show the attack included a large blast followed by a big plume of smoke, and the sound of gunshots and distant voices shouting.

Bombing and shooting attacks were commonly directed against the army and police across Hadramawt from 2011 until the country’s civil war heated up early this year with the start of a military campaign by a Saudi-led alliance.

Since then, AQAP has seized control of Mukalla and the coast of Hadramawt, but attacks inland receded. Like the Saudi-led coalition, AQAP’s main enemy in Yemen is the Houthi militia, and unconfirmed reports say AQAP has been closely involved in fighting alongside units backed by the Saudis.

However, AQAP is also an enemy of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, whose government Saudi Arabia wants to restore via its military campaign.

Watch AQAP massive carbombs attack on the world oldest skyscrapers Shibam Hadhramaut Yemen

Nearly 30 Dead in Al Qaeda Attack: Fierce clashes break out in Yemen

Attacks on Yemeni army kill dozens – Al Jazeera English

Attacks on two army positions in southeast Yemen killed 15 soldiers and 19 assailants and wounded several civilians, according to army and medical sources.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group claimed responsibility for the attacks on Friday, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group said.

An officer said the attacks on Friday targeted army positions near the town of Shibam in Hadramout province, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported.

Though the officer initially said that 12 soldiers and 19 fighters were killed, a medical source later said that the army had lost 15 men and several civilians were wounded in the attacks.

The main attack was staged at the western entrance to Shibam, called the “Manhattan of the Desert” and listed as a UNESCO world heritage site for its high-rise mud-brick buildings.

Local officials said fierce clashes broke out after fighters exploded a roadside bomb, targeting an army patrol, while a suicide bomber blew up a car at an army post near a residential area.

“The blast damaged many homes, wounding several civilians,” the medical source said in the nearby town of Seiyun, where the casualties and the bodies of the dead soldiers were transported.

Army units posted in Hadramout are loyal to the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in the face of an armed revolt by Houthi rebels.

A Saudi-led coalition launched a war in Yemen against the Houthi rebels last March.

Unreported Crimes against Humanity: More Than 800 Women and Children Have Died in Yemen, and No One Has Food

Yemen’s humanitarian and human rights catastrophe continues to worsen, according to new UN figures which put the number of killed since late March at more than 5,700.

Speaking to reporters in Cairo by videoconference, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Johannes Van Der Klauww said that 830 of the dead were women and children. UN officials had earlier put the total number of civilians killed at more than 2,600.

As the death toll in the conflict pitting Saudi-led coalition forces against Shia Houthi rebels and their allies continues to rise, humanitarian conditions have only grown more dire, said the coordinator. 21.2 million people in the country – 82 percent of its entire population – are in need of some sort of humanitarian assistance.

“We currently estimate that over 14 million people lack sufficient access to healthcare,” said Van Der Klauww. “3 million children and pregnant or lactating women require malnutrition treatment or preventative services and 1.8 million children have been out of school since mid-March.”

320,000 children, he added, were acutely malnourished.

To read complete article click here
The original source of this article is Vice News
Copyright © Samuel Oakford, Vice News, 2015


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