Al-Qaeda Attacks South Yemen Military Base, Kills 19 Soldiers

Gunmen stormed base, held the area for several hours

In another big loss for the military forces in south Yemen, al-Qaeda carried out an attack against a military base in al-Mahfad District, overrunning the base, killing at least 19 soldiers, and engaging in a multi-hour firefight from within.

Yemeni officials said that they were vulnerable because of a missile strike in Aden on Thursday by the Houthis, which hit a military parade. It’s not clear why this would’ve made the Mahfad base, which isn’t in Aden, easier to raid.

Officials labeled al-Qaeda’s attack “opportunistic,” and said that during the multi-hour fight, they were blowing up buildings within the base, and then safely withdrew their attackers from the base.

While analysts downplayed the ability of the al-Qaeda faction within Yemen to carry out sustained campaigns anymore, they appear to have been very successful in the Friday attack, and by all accounts didn’t lose any fighters.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.