The extensive military campaign against Al-Qaeda militants in Abyan has placed them one quick corner away from their end. Since new President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi swore to fight Al-Qaeda wherever they were, until last week the group did not take these words seriously. They soon found themselves in a losing battle when faced against the willpower of the president and those serving in the military.
Since then, Al-Qaeda has shifted its fighting strategy to pull the attention of the government from the militants’ base in Abyan to the capital city and other of Yemen’s governorates. As we already know, al-Qeada has strong links everywhere in the country – but not as strong as the central hub of Abyan.
What happened last week in Sana’a, and particularly on the 21st of May – one day ahead of National Unity Day celebrations – represents disasters of two types. The first is that the government could not safeguard its own soldiers at a military gathering, and the second is the huge number of victims who were killed and injured for the benefit of evil, neither for Jihad nor for independence.
For al-Qaeda, one aim was to prove its capacity to reach targets anywhere and at any time. Another aim was that of reducing the heavy pressure on their colleagues in Abyan who are falling apart day by day. The other two Al-Qaeda attacks on Thursday in Al-Jouf and Sada’a show that they are looking to expand their war in all governorates. This is a sign that they are approaching their end
The majority of people in Yemen and elsewhere in the world believe that al-Qeada gained strength over the past year when they managed to overtake some military camps. It’s not a matter of how they overtook or of who helped them to take – rather, it’s a matter of whom they are fighting and who they are attacking. Certainly, both sides lose: those from the Yemeni civilian and military side, and those young men who join the militants, you men who have been victims of poverty, unemployment and the absence of an education.
While gains on the ground for the military can at times mean something, after the crime at Al-Sabeen Square, the people of Yemen clearly have no room to tolerate the Al-Qaeda group’s beliefs.