Fear of Yemen’s Collapse as al-Qaeda’s Gains Mount

Yemeni military forces are once again in retreat, having been routing time and again in the north against the Houthis. This time, they’re losing ground in the south, to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

AQAP fighters today seized a military base in Shabwa Province, home to some 1,000 soldiers, capturing heavy weaponry and other gear after they chased off the soldiers.

The UN is warning that AQAP is making considerable gains across the southwest of the country, and expressed concern that Yemen itself is speeding toward a collapse, with the military unable to even hold its own bases, let alone ensure territorial integrity.

Yemen may well split in three at this point, with the Houthis dominating Sadaa, Sanaa, and most of the west coast, southern secessionists looking to reassert independence in an Aden-based nation, and AQAP holding tribal territories between the two.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.