Southern Transitional Council Forces Seize Al-Qaeda Camp in Abyan

The forces participating in the attack continue their security operations with the aim of completing the cleansing of all remote areas in valleys and deserts where the elements of Al-Qaeda are hiding

The forces of the Southern Transitional Council in Yemen took control of an Al-Qaeda camp in Abyan Province in the southern part of the country on Saturday evening. This comes days after a number of its members, including a prominent leader, were assassinated in an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device believed to have been planted by the extremist organization along a road in the province.

Ali Al-Dhafeeri, the Director General of the Abyan Police, as reported by the “Southern Shield” website, which speaks on behalf of the Southern Transitional Council forces, stated that “the military and security forces participating in the Sword of Houss campaign managed to clear the Hajla camp belonging to Al-Qaeda in the Mudiyah district in Abyan.”

He added that “the forces continue their security operations with the aim of completing the purification of all remote areas in the valleys and the wadis where elements of the terrorist organization are hiding.”

On Monday, the Southern Transitional Council launched a military campaign against what it referred to as “Al-Qaeda elements” in the central directorates of Abyan province. The campaign is named “Swords of Houss.” The Council stated that it is an extension of the “Swords of the East” campaign launched last year against “terrorist elements.”

On Thursday, Abdul Latif Al-Sayyid, the commander of the Security Belt forces in Abyan province, along with Captain Salah Al-Yusufi, the head of Security Belt operations in Abyan, and tribal leader Sheikh Mohammed Kraid Al-Ja’dani, were killed in an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device planted by Al-Qaeda elements.

Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arabian Peninsula, has been facing a bloody conflict since 2014 between government forces and Houthi rebels.

Southern provinces, including Aden, Shabwah, Socotra, and most of Abyan, are under the control of the Southern Transitional Council forces. These forces have managed to cleanse extensive areas in the south that were previously under the control of Al-Qaeda.

On September 18, 2022, the Council announced its complete control over the strategic “Awmran” camp, the largest stronghold of Al-Qaeda in Abyan.

The south serves as the temporary capital for the Yemeni government and is also the headquarters of the Southern Transitional Council. The Security Belt forces later fell under the authority of the Council, which was founded in 2017. These forces fight against the Houthis but also compete with the government to control southern areas.

The ongoing war in Yemen has provided safe havens for extremist organizations, including the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. While these organizations have gained control over some areas in Yemen, they have also suffered losses among their prominent and influential leaders due to airstrikes carried out by the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia or U.S. airstrikes.

Earlier this month, five members of forces loyal to the Southern Transitional Council were killed in an attack in Wadi Awmran in Abyan. In June, two Yemeni soldiers were killed in an Al-Qaeda attack targeting a military site in Shabwah in southern central Yemen.

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