Political Analysis

Ansar Al-Shariah vows to take fight to capital

National Yemen

Jalal Baleid a member of Ansar Asharia;a

By NY Staff

In response to the Yemeni army’s victories against militant forces in Ja’ar and Zunjubar, Ansar Al-Shariah officials threatened to transfer the battles to Sana’a and other governorates. According to officials, Ansar Al-Shariah intends to launch terrorist attacks against western targets in retaliation for the military campaign launched to force them out of Abyan governorate.

As they withdrew from their loction in Ja’ar city, the terrorist group released a statement saying their withdrawal was prompted by a concern that the “enemy” would otherwise have a chance to destroy people’s lands. “We will move our operations and will direct quick and damaging operations against the enemy’s cities, including the capital, and will make them regret having fought against us,” stated the release.

In a message directed at Yemeni authorities, Ansar Al-Shariah members said that while previous battles had been staged away from the seats of government, from now on they would be comprehensively targeted. “We spent the past year preparing our officers and martyrs for these days and now you have nothing to wait for but what is to come,” the message continued.

In this regard, a number of local observers expressed concern that the withdrawal of Ansar Al-Sharia militants might be part of a strategic plan to control other locations. Such fears were shrugged off by field military officers, who said the army had completely seized control of the cities of Zunjubar and Ja’ar.  “Such fears are unjustified, as there is no possibility of the militants gaining control of the cities again; their numbers were not as large as we expected,” added the military source.

Political researcher Saeed Abdulmo’men said the defeat of Al-Qaeda in Abyan was not the beginning of the end, but that it represented a good step towards gaining control over Ja’ar city. “The terrorists are expected to continue their operations in different ways, and a lot depends on how serious the government is in fostering security, stability and justice in communities,” noted Abdulmo’men.