Why today is a bad day to be Al Qaeda in Yemen
Yemeni forces supported by the US prepare to take an Al Qaeda stronghold.
It's a bad day to be an Al Qaeda fighter in southern Yemen. The Yemeni Army supported by artillery, tanks, and US drones is preparing to attack and capture an Al Qaeda coastal stronghold. Already, combat in the region has killed at least 23 Al Qaeda fighters according to the Yemeni defense ministry.
Yemeni soldiers fight from a fixed position in a recent clash with Al Qaeda fighters.
The targeted coastal region is particularly important because it is a major avenue for Al Qaeda fighters entering the country. Yemeni officials say they have identified Pakistanis and Somalis among the dead, proving that fighters are regularly entering the country through there.
Most of the Yemeni people want Al Qaeda to go. In a show of support, tribal fighters said to number in the thousands have come to aid the military effort.
Meanwhile, Al Qaeda's strategy appears to be one of guerrilla warfare. The tactics have worked well and have helped Al Qaeda to carve out yet more territory in the southern part of the country. It is historically difficult for a standing army to fight militias. Yemenis say the Al Qaeda terrorists move in small numbers and blend quickly into the surrounding population. But with US support, particularly in the form of drone strikes, aid, and military training, the Yemeni government believes they can deal Al Qaeda a severe blow in the region.
The fight in Yemen is important because in addition to destabilizing the government and terrorizing locals, Al Qaeda operatives in Yemen have already attempted to launch several attacks against the US. Depriving Al Qaeda of a secure base of operations keeps the organization on the run, rather than letting them settle down to plan attacks - attacks that US officials warn are becoming more sophisticated in plan.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Yemen, Al Qaeda, drones, fighters, militias, terrorists, war on terror
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