Major battles were reported all along the southern Red Sea coast of Yemen today, with an al-Qaeda suicide bombing on the recently captured city of Radda and major fights in the important port city of Hudeydah. At least 60 have been reported killed so far.
The Shi’ite Houthi fighters have long been separated from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) by territory, with the Houthis dominating the northwest and AQAP in the south and east of the country. Houthi expansion southward has brought the two into direct conflict.
The Houthis have last week captured Radda and Hudeydah. and made both of those cities AQAP targets, with the lost of Radda, a former AQAP stronghold, particularly galling for the al-Qaeda affiliate.
Radda saw heavy shelling as AQAP tried to force their way back in, and AQAP also seized the city of Odayn, near Ibb, outright. With a population of 200,000 people, it is now the AQAP-side of the frontier with the Houthis in a growing civil war.