Abyan operations are intended to eliminate Al-Qaeda terrorists
Abyan operations are intended to eliminate Al-Qaeda terrorists

Al-Mukalla: Three Yemeni soldiers, including a military commander, were killed in an al-Qaeda roadside bomb planted in a mountainous area in the southern province of Abyan, local officials said. With the most recent deaths, 68 soldiers have been killed in such attacks since August.

On Wednesday, as his vehicle was patrolling the Omran Valley in Abyan province, Abdul Rahim Muthana, commander of a military unit belonging to the Security Belt forces, and two of his comrades were killed and three others wounded when it collided with a Injured in the collision. roadside bomb

On social media, al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the incident and threatened additional attacks. According to Mohammed al-Nakib, a spokesman for the pro-independence Southern Transitional Council, which oversees military operations in Abyan.

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The deaths of three soldiers on Wednesday brought the total number of dead to 68 and at least 170 wounded in al-Qaida's forces since the offensive launched in August to drive them out of Abyan.

Despite mounting casualties, al-Naqib ruled out any withdrawal from the valley and other rural areas of Abyan, as happened in 2019, and said instead that al-Qaeda militants would be defeated completely. Military operations will continue.

"The fight against terrorism is a long one and requires significant sacrifices," he said. We are up against a sneaky adversary who is planting explosives and running.

Pro-independence forces in southern Yemen launched a military offensive a few months ago to drive al-Qaeda out of its long-held strongholds in the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, where militants hide prisoners, recruits Recruit and train, and plan an attack. government target. The crackdown followed a series of violent attacks and kidnappings of local people and aid workers.

Yemeni military and security forces were able to control a large part of Shabwa, and also made advances into the Omaran Valley and the rocky, towering mountains and valleys of Abyan.

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Al-Qaeda members used guerrilla tactics such as planting landmines, roadside bombings and hit-and-run operations to escape to other Yemeni strongholds or hide in civilian areas.

Dr Elizabeth Kendall, master of Girton College at the University of Cambridge and terrorism expert, told Arab News that the insurgents' counterattack on southern forces since September is known as the Arrow of Truth and has included several insurgency operations.

He insisted that the militants could not have suffered such losses against southern forces without the aid of regional factions.

Over the past four months, al-Qaeda has conducted dozens of guerrilla operations, which it alleges resulted in the death or wounding of more than 200 southern forces, including 10 commanders. He stressed that it is likely that al-Qaeda has collaborated with some rival groups on the ground to continue their operations.

Kendall remarked that it would be challenging for the separatists' regular army to fight an insurgent group like al-Qaeda that was familiar with the local population and used their animosity towards the local government.

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He continued, "It is very difficult for conventional military forces to fight guerrilla forces, especially when guerrilla forces have learned how to exploit local grievances and have more experience and longevity in communities.

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