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Al-Qaeda gains ground in Yemen war

The Yemen war has profound implications for the stability of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia and the broader region as al-Qaeda recruits and trains in the chaos.
Shi'ite Houthi rebels drive a patrol truck past a Ansar al-Sharia flag painted on the side of a hill, along a road in Almnash, the main stronghold of Ansar al-Sharia, in Rada November 22, 2014. Shi'ite Houthi fighters recently managed to enter the area, which had long been the main stronghold of Ansar al-Sharia, the local wing of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Picture taken November 22, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi (YEMEN - Tags: CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY CONFLICT) - RTR4F880

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is the early winner in Yemen. With its hated enemies Saudi Arabia and the Zaydi Houthi rebels engaged in what may well be a protracted war, AQAP is flourishing in eastern Yemen and under less pressure than at any time since its founding in 2009.

On April 2, AQAP militants attacked the prison in Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province, releasing as many as 300 prisoners. Many were experienced al-Qaeda operatives. The attackers also destroyed government installations and weakened the already fragile security situation in Hadramawt.

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