Author: Al-Tagheer (Yemen) Posted March 12, 2012
Al-Qaeda is adopting a new and specific strategy in its bloody confrontation with the Yemeni regime. From the operations it is carrying out in parts of Yemen to its complete control and establishment in some Yemeni cities and the careful planning of operations now and in the future, Al-Qaeda is employing new, effective and quite diverse tactics in its military operations and armed confrontations.
Therefore, the organization must be dealt with on that basis, while taking the following into account:
The spread and establishment of Al-Qaeda in some areas has become remarkable. In the months during which the problem was left to fester, Al-Qaeda has expanded its area of deployment northward and southward and had sufficient time and ability to put its affairs in order, train its members and disseminate its ideas and methods throughout Yemen. The organization was able to expand and multiply, especially in the poor and isolated areas, by taking advantage of a favorable atmosphere. Yemen was in political turmoil during the uprising and the Yemeni political forces were preoccupied with partisan and political infighting. The central government was weak and fragile, and there were fluctuating loyalties within the army between the supporters and the opponents of the regime for an entire year. Al-Qaeda is now fighting for its existence, especially when the political scene is preparing for a comprehensive national solution. There has been a strong media campaign against the organization, as seen by President Hadi’s speech and the US embassy’s direct involvement in the media and the military war against the organization. There was the “Cutting the Tail” operation, which resulted in 350 casualties (dead, wounded and detained), and involved conflicting reports that Yemeni forces sought the help of American experts to intervene directly. There were also reports that US Marines participated in the cleansing operation after Abin Province’s emir, Jalal Al-Mourqosh, threatened a series of suicide operations called the “Torrential River” at the end of the 10-day deadline for the withdrawal of troops fighting on the outskirts of the city of Zanjibar. Hadi and US Ambassador Gerald Feierstien announced that there would be no dialogue with jihadist groups. All of these considerations make the intervention of foreign and international troops a possibility. This would cause Yemen to become the scene of foreign interventions, and an internationally failed state, with all the dire consequences that entails, from casualties to violations of national sovereignty.
The high caliber of Al-Qaeda’s operations at this particular time pose the question of why the intensity of the confrontations and the beating of the war drums have increased:
In light of last week's bloody confrontations and the resulting losses — especially soldiers and members of the armed forces — and in light of how easily military garrisons were captured by jihadist organizations, and the mystery of how well brigades and units stationed in the contact areas were defended, several logistical questions are being raised about the ability, readiness and efficiency of the armed forces and the security services to defend the homeland, and on the effectiveness of training those forces against extremism and terrorism, and the prohibitive costs of funding and equipping them.
There are big questions about the fall, or surrender, of some brigades, such as the 39th Mika Brigade in Al-Kod. Perhaps it was a plan by leaders loyal to the former president, who were involved in the large-scale Al-Qaeda “Torrential River” attack, which began with a series of suicide car bombs and an encirclement operation from the sea that surrounded the infantry brigade in Al-Kod and the artillery battalion in Dofs, which is the front line in the confrontations with Al-Qaeda militants. Then the battle started with members of the brigade, alongside the 115th infantry brigade at Dofs’ entrance, and the seizure of camps and garrisons, along with their heavy and medium military equipment.
There are questions as to why the rapid intervention units coming from Aden to provide the necessary assistance and supplies were delayed. All that make plausible the theory that there is a relationship between Al-Qaeda and the presidential palace, especially after Al-Qaeda bombed an Antonov aircraft while it was sitting inside the Daylami airbase, under the pretext that it was supplying the military units in Aden and the south with weapons and equipment used to strike Al-Qaeda in Abyan.
Are we facing a new kind of Al-Qaeda organization that is using novel tactics? Has this new organization broken with the traditional Al-Qaeda methods, and is it now able to plan defensive and offensive operations with great skill? Can it now set conditions and lay down dictates in order to survive? Can it control areas on the ground? Can it preempt attacks, as happened in the bombing of the presidential palace in the province of Hadramaut only a few minutes after the president threatened Al-Qaeda in his speech, and in the bombing of the republican guard garrison in the province of Bayda’ shortly after the organization’s leader, Tariq Al-Zahab, was killed in Radaa? Right now, Al-Qaeda is gathering its supporters, energy and capacities in order to deal successive revenge attacks against national institutions and control areas in some provinces, making a military confrontation necessary. The strategy of how to confront the organization must be reassessed. A new strategy and new mechanisms must be developed to counter Al-Qaeda. A “decapitation” operation must be adopted to put a stop to this “Torrential River” of extremism and terrorism.
Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/01/03/al-qaedas-strategy-between-cutti.html