Yemen Claims Army ‘Progress’ in Southwest Cities

Fighting Continues in Zinjibar

Yemeni officials claim that the portions of the military still loyal to the Saleh regime have made “progress” in attacking the southwestern town on Zinjibar. They provided no information, however, about how soon they expected to reclaim it.

Indications are, however, that fighting continued Monday, after clashes over the weekend left at least 27 combatants slain and an unknown number of others wounded. The exact casualty tolls for Monday were unclear.

Zinjibar has been outside of regime control since last month, when the escalating civil war between tribes and regime forces in the capital was exploited by an unrelated Islamist faction, which the government says is affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Since the town fell, other neighboring towns also fell to the faction, prompting a large number of US drone strikes in the area. The claims of AQAP affiliation have yet to be verified, and opposition figures have accused the Saleh government of making this up in an attempt to curry more support from the US.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.