Yemen’s state news agency announced today that fighting in the town of Zinjibar, which the military has repeatedly, unsuccessfully attempted to reclaim, has killed “dozens of terrorists” which they termed as linked to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
Zinjibar, the capital of the southeastern province of Abyan, has been contested for months, with a group calling itself Ansar al-Sharia claiming the town and several nearby villages. The military has lost over 100 troops in attempts to reclaim it.
Attempts at reconquering the province have also seen steady support from the US, which has launched well over a dozen drone strikes against the province, killing scores of ‘suspects” in an ever growing drone war.
So far the US drone strikes don’t appear to have accomplished anymore than the military’s offensives, and the province is far from controlled. Still, officials claim that they “almost” killed US-born cleric Anwar Awlaki, who President Obama has ordered assassinated, in one of the strikes. They can add this to the virtually endless list of “almost” successes in their other drone wars.