44 Killed in Yemeni Military’s Attack on Jaar

Key Town Surrounded, But Military Gives No Timeline for Invasion

At least 44 people were killed today as Yemen’s military continued to launch attacks on the Abyan Province, with the military claiming significant gains and having surrounded the key town of Jaar.

In Jaar itself, the militant claimed to have killed 28 “al-Qaeda fighters,” while they also claimed that eight “terrorists” were killed in the coastal town of Shaqra. Six Yemeni soldiers were also reported slain in the fighting.

Absent from the reports were the civilian death toll, which is in keeping with the Yemeni government’s recent statements on the matter, which have entirely ignored civilian casualties, which are only reported on the off chance a civilian from the town speaks to the media.

Ansar al-Sharia has been under control of Abyan since June of last year, but the Yemeni military has invaded the province in a big way in recent weeks, backed by US drone strikes and with US advisers urging them on.

What happens next in Jaar remains to be seen, as the Yemeni military said they were not prepared to invade the town and believed there were booby traps along all the main roads.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.