Yemen Launches Flurry of Air Strikes Against South Following Clashes

Yemeni Officials Say AQAP Targeted in Latest Bombing Campaign

Yemeni warplanes are actively bombing across the Abyan Peninsula today, following a growing number of ambushes and clashes with insurgents in the region. Yemen says al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an auxiliery of the al-Qaeda group based in Yemen, is the main target.

A number of casualties have been reported, but exact numbers are not yet available owing to the Yemeni government’s strict limitations on media access. A Saturday ambush which killed four Yemeni soldiers appears to have been the major cause of the attacks, though of course a number of other attacks have occurred over the past week.

Yemen also announced that they were putting Western embassies in the capital city on “high security alert” and fortifying positions around the embassies. It is unclear if there were specific threats against the embassies or if the government just believes there will be blowback from the bombing campaign.

AQAP is only one of many groups fighting the Yemeni government at the moment. The nation is also fighting a resurgent separatist faction in the south, related to the formerly Soviet-backed government there, and has also faced clashes with Shi’ite groups in the north, near the Saudi border.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.