Members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have seized the town of Radaa this weekend, with reports saying that the town’s police force offered very little resistance in the raid, and that the ancient citadel in town was captured.
The loss of the town marks a move further inland for AQAP, whose fighters have mostly been clustered around the southern coast recently contesting control over the Abyan Province.
And that control over Abyan seems to be more or less absolute at this point, with displaced Yemenis giving up on the idea that the Yemeni government is going to retake the area and simply returning home to see what life under the new “Emirate” of Ansar al-Sharia is like.
The Yemeni military contested Abyan for virtually the whole second half of 2011, with a number of US air strikes aimed at helping the military retake it. The clashes haven’t gone well for the Yemeni military however, with the AQAP forces seemingly having an advantage.