The Yemeni military’s claims to have turned the corner in its ongoing fight for the Abyan Province took another big hit today, when the Ansar al-Sharia faction attacked an army post, routing the soldiers within and killing at least 32.
The attack came early Monday morning, after the Sunday US drone strike in neighboring Shabwa Province killed two al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members. Ansar al-Sharia said the attack was a response to US-backed ruler Maj. Gen. Hadi’s vow to defeat them.
Ansar al-Sharia has been in de facto control over the Abyan Province since June of last year, and fighting on the ground has led to a number of humiliating defeats for the Yemeni military.
The military has been upbeat in recent weeks about the fighting, saying it was decisively defeating Ansar al-Sharia and AQAP fighters in the northern Abyan town on Lawder. When it comes to the area around the capital of Zinjibar, it seems that the militants have retained a clear advantage.
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