Major General Faraj Salmeen Al Bahasani, the governor of Hardamout.(SAEED AL BATATI/GULF NEWSThe governor of Yemen’s south-eastern Hadramout has said that Al Qaida would never be allowed to make a foothold in the vast province and local authorities have carried many pre-emptive raids to prevent the militants from regrouping or carrying attacks.Major General Faraj Salmeen Al Bahasani told Gulf News
Al Mukalla: The governor of Yemen’s south-eastern Hadramout has said that Al Qaida would never be allowed to make a foothold in the vast province and local authorities have carried many pre-emptive raids to prevent the militants from regrouping or carrying out attacks.
Major General Faraj Salmeen Al Bahasani told Gulf News on Monday that security forces in the province recently arrested three “dangerous” Al Qaida militants who carried two consecutive attacks against a military post in the district of Dawan.“
The three operatives were hiding in a house in Dhalea town. “We had been following them for some time. When we identified their location in the town, a group of highly trained forces raided their hideout and arrested them,” Al Bahasani said, adding the arrested militants admitted plotting to kill soldiers and security services and gave “important” information that would lead to hunting down other militants. “We are still hunting militants who carried other attacks,”
Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the group’s most dangerous branch in the world, had suffered a significant blow in 2016 when thousands of the UAE-trained Yemeni forces dislodged them from the city of Mukalla and neighbouring coastal towns. Other government forces pushed them from major cities in Lahj, Abyan and Shabwa. Al Bahasani said that military raids that followed the liberation had disabled the Al Qaida and prevented them from carrying deadly retaliatory attacks. “These security successes are due to a strong intelligence apparatus. We would not allow them to threaten security in Hadramout,” he said.
The 2nd Military Region, which is based in Hadramout’s capital Al Mukalla, has recently deployed hundreds of military forces on Hadramout’s large plateau after intelligence reports said that the militants who fled army crackdown in other provinces were regrouping in the area.
“We are determined to secure each inch of Hadramout.”
The Saudi-led coalition, mainly the UAE, has generously offered military help to local military and security services that fight Al Qaida and other militant groups. Al Bahsani said that coalition’s fighter jets and helicopters provide his forces with air cover during their battles with Al Qaida while surveillance aircraft give information about locations of the militants.
“They provide us with a big logistic support.” he said.
Meanwhile on the ground, fighting raged on Monday between government forces and Al Houthi fighters on major fronts across Yemen. Heavy fighting was reported on rugged mountains close to the strategic Khalid Bin Al Waleed military camp in the province of Taiz.