UAE-led operation to re-establish government control of Yemen’s Abyan unlikely to succeed in defeating AQAP

National Yemen
Al-Qaeda fighters in Abyan province
Written by Staff

JANES — On 17 August 2016, Yemeni Minister of Interior Major General Hussein Mohammed Arab announced that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had been completely pushed out of Abyan province.

The claimed breakthrough represents the culmination of a two-month effort to retake Abyan by Yemeni forces nominally loyal to President Abdurabu Mansour Hadi and his government, as a result of the ongoing UAE-led efforts to train and equip Yemeni forces and a small contingent of forces to secure strategic ports and airports in Mukalla and Aden.

Abyan is a long-standing AQAP stronghold, and has controlled its provincial capital Zinjibar since December 2015.