By William Tucker
The Southern Yemeni cities of Jaar and Zinjibar were retaken by the Yemeni military. Details provided by the military suggest that some combat took place killing an estimated 24 militants, while some residents stated that the members of Ansar al-Sharia had left the previous night. It is not unusual for conflicting details to be presented during combat, but what is important is that the Yemeni government is reasserting control over these areas. Unfortuantely, the details of what transpired would help in ascertaining the strength of AQAP and Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen in light of the military offensive. Prior to the retirement of President Salah, AQAP was a capable guerilla organization, but didn’t begin to seize territory until the unrest began. It is possible that AQAP has decided to return to guerilla tactics and avoid direct combat with the Yemeni military, but there isn’t any reliable evidence to support that yet. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye on the situation in Yemen.
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