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Yemen: Mujahideen liberate two more towns and enter province of Taaz. AQAP begins siege of Aden

Publication time: 20 March 2012, 02:35

According to Arab sources, the Mujahideen of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (aka AQAP or Ansar al-Sharia) managed to enter and take complete control over the town of Al-Sadarah (see map), and the town of Joba in the province of Hadramawt on the night from Wednesday to Thursday. It is reported that they met no resistance.

One of the AQAP commanders Abu Zeid al-Daghar who headed the liberation of the towns had been liberated spoke to local residents and the Mujahideen, calling to establish the Sharia in the region of Hajar and pointed out to great benefit that comes from obedience to Allah. Also, Emir al-Daghari criticized various groups of socialists, who had been ruling in the south.

The command of Ansar al-Sharia met with sheikhs and elders of the area of Hajar. Local chiefs expressed their support for the Mujahideen of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. It is reported that AQAP was supported by sheikhs, elders and ulema throughout the province of Hadramawt, who had promised to provide them with all necessary assistance.

Most of the imams of the mosques in the towns of Hadramawt see it as expression of the will of Allah that He has given the victory to the men of al-Qaeda and allowed them to liberate the entire province.

Meanwhile, the Mujahideen of AQAP lead the offensive in western Yemen: they have taken control over the district in the province of Taaz, Khudair. According to local sources, the Mujahideen groups spread out around the mountain of Hamam which is located between the area of al-Radiha in Taaz province and the region of al-Sharija in the province of Lahj (see map).

The sources added that the Mujahideen units began to appear in the area on Tuesday. The locals have seen squads of soldiers of AQAP, equipped with medium and light weapons.

After entering the province of Taaz, the Mujahideen carried out many successful raids. Thus, in the eponymous provincial capital, they neutralized on Sunday an American who had been engaged in proselytizing among local residents, reports AFP.

In a statement released through the mass media, the Mujahideen of AQAP stressed that the infidel who was eliminated had been a Christian proselyte.

"The attack was carried out in response to Western campaign to spread Christianity among Muslims", said the statement. The elimination was carried out by two Mujahideen, riding a motorcycle.

Meanwhile, in the analysis of recent events in Yemen, attention is drawn to the tactics of the Mujahideen. According to some commentators, the Mujahideen did not seek to take control in as many towns as possible in each province.

Rather, al-Qaeda, focuses on key towns. In addition, it should be understood that one of the main strategic objectives pursued by the Mujahideen in southern Yemen is the liberation of the country's main port city of Aden.

Thus, as commentators suggest, the advancement of AQAP to the west of Yemen should be considered in this context. Looking at the map of Aden, one can see that the southern capital is connected to the rest of the country by three major highways, which are used to supply Aden puppets: a trail Sahel-Abyan (see map), the western route (see map) and motorway Taiz-Aden (see map).

The supply route through Sahel-Abyan is currently not used by puppets, because the Mujahideen control the towns in Abyan, through which it passes (see map).

On the other hand, the supply to the units of the regime of Saleh can not be exercised via the western route, since, according to recent reports, the Mujahideen of AQAP took control over several districts of Province of Aden and a district of Imran (see map) in the same province.

Thus, the only route remaining is the northern road which is partly controlled by the Mujahideen as a result of the capture of the city of Habilayn in Lahj (see map). According to commentators, after Taaz, the next logical target must be Aden itself.

As a consequence, the apostates, stationed in Aden, will be sieged, which, in turn, should create an opportunity for the Mujahideen to liberate the southern capital of the country.

Due to that fact, the puppets have been voicing their fears in recent years,. For instance, Bikya Masr writes:

"If Yemen were to lose Aden to al-Qaeda as it happened with the province of Abyan, repercussions could be disastrous with the terror group gaining an open passage towards not only the Horn of Africa but also to the oil shipping route".

In turn, an analyst Adel al-Ababii notes that Yemeni Muslims supported al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and that gives the AQAP an opportunity not only to successfully attack the puppet regime, but also to address to the socio-economic problems of the people in the controlled areas.

Given all this, al-Ababii concludes, the fight of the Mujahideen with the Saleh's regime "could soon become bloodier and more protracted".

In the meantime, sources report that hundreds of Mujahideen from al Shabaab arrived over the last few days to the port of Abyan in motor boats.

Department of Monitoring
Kavkaz Center



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