Yemeni pro-government forces have carries out several raids against al-Qaida in the southern port city of Aden, performing a series of arrests on dozens on suspects, resulting in a dispersion of militants from important areas.
Maj. Gen. Shalal Shayaa, Aden’s security chief, said that southern fighters supporting the government have set up points around the al-Mansoura general area to combat a former militant base. Shayaa later ventured across al-Mansoura on foot, calming nerves and checking security patrols.
Shayaa said that the raids are part of a series of campaigns designed to spread governmental control over Aden, its de facto capital. Shiite militias, otherwise known as Houthis, seized the capital, Sanaa, in the early months of 2014. Aden was left to its own devices–unfortunately, the Saudi-led coalition was unable to intervene.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, believed to be the most dangerous area of the global network by Washington, has taken advantage of the political turmoil in Yemen, capturing entire cities along the coastline of the Arabian Sea. U.S. drones have carried out a series of airstrikes in recent days, killing dozens of militants.
On Wednesday, officials and witnesses said that U.S drones destroyed vehicles, gathering point for the militants in the southern city of Azzan. Yemen’s largest province, Hadramawt, was also seized during the raid. Earlier this month the drones killed over 40 militants, including new recruits, in the province.
In addition to al-Qaida, the government has also been battling Islamic State militants, who have carried out a series of deadly suicide bombings in Aden and assassinated top officials, including a former governor.