Al-Qaeda forces in southern Yemen yesterday managed to wrestle control of a district in the Abyan province which is the hometown of Saudi-backed Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Al-Wadea district was overrun with Al-Qaeda fighters, who sources say began to emerge not long after the reported arrival of dozens of Islah aligned militia last week from Marib to the oil producing province of Shabwa, which shares a border with Abyan.
The Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Islah could be taking heed of a fatwa, religious edict, issued by the Board of Yemeni Ulema (religious scholars), which called for the southern separatist “insurgency” headed by the Southern Transitional Council (STC) to be eliminated.
The UAE, although partners with Saudi Arabia in the coalition against the Houthi-dominated north, also backs the STC, causing a rift between the two Gulf states, especially since the STC assumed control over the strategic port city of Aden, which served as the de-facto capital of the Hadi government.
Allegations have also circulated that Saudi Arabia has been supporting the Islah militia in its fight against the Houthis.
The Abyan province has fallen in and out of Al-Qaeda control throughout the duration of the conflict, which is currently in its fifth year. It is believed that Al-Qaeda tactically retreated in the past, despite UAE reports of military victories against the militants.
At long last, Syria’s army and Russia’s air force are no longer being threatened with World War III by the US and its allies if they proceed to destroy the tens of thousands of Al-Qaida-led jihadists whom the US had helped to train and arm (and had been protecting in Syria ever since December 2012) in order to overthrow Syria’s non-sectarian Government and replace it by a fundamentalist-Sunni Government which the royal Sauds who own Saudi Arabia would appoint. All throughout that war, those Al-Qaeda-led ‘moderate rebels’ had been organized from the governate or province of Idlib (or Idleb). But now, most (if not all) of their leadership are dead.
Some three hours ago an air- or missile strike in Syria's Idleb governorate hit a meeting of leaders of the al-Qaeda aligned Haras-al-Din and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) aka Jabhat al-Nusra. Both were killed. It is likely that leaders of other Jihadist groups were also present. The hit completely destroyed a Haras al-Din guesthouse or headquarter. The Syrian Observatory says that more than 40 people were killed in the strike. The hit will make it much easier for the Syrian army campaign to liberate Idleb governorate.
The Trump administration is preparing to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan in exchange for concessions from the Taliban, including a cease-fire and a renunciation of al-Qaeda, as part of an initial deal to end the nearly 18-year-old war, U.S. officials say.
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