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Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) continue to use Saudi-led coalition victories as leverage to increase their territorial control and recruitment in Yemen. Coalition forces have been attempting to strengthen Saudi-controlled President Abdu Mansour Hadi’s ability to govern and control recently captured territories in southern and eastern Yemen.
- August 22, AQAP militants attacked key government buildings and seized two districts in Aden. Terrorists also released a photo set commemorating AQAP’s recent southern battles against the al Houthis to boost recruitment in Yemen.
August 23, Saudi-led coalition forces and allied militants launched an operation to capture al Houthicontrolled al Bayada.
August 23-26, Saudi-led coalition forces are preparing an advance to regain control of al Mukalla city in Yemen’s eastern Hadramawt governorate from AQAP. However, AQAP militants operate in
the city despite reports of a pending Saudi-led operation to liberate al Mukalla.
August 26, Al Houthi fighters continued attacks along the Saudi-Yemeni border as the Saudi-led coalition amassed its forces in central Ma’rib. Al Houthi conducted series of cross-border artillery
strikes against Saudi military sites, downing an Apache helicopter and killing the commander of the Saudi eighteenth army brigade, Major General Abdul Rahman bin Saad al-Shahran.
August 26, Saudi-led coalition forces invaded Yemen and seized northern al Houthi sites in Sa’ada along the Saudi-Yemeni border.
August 22-26, 8 Apache helicopters and 100 Saudi armored vehicles and tanks transferred from Shabwah to central Ma’rib.
- August 27, Saudi troops have pushed their way into the northern Yemeni regions which overlook the southwestern Saudi province of Jizan. Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri, a Saudi military
spokesperson, noted that the Saudi soldiers have taken some areas under their control during the invasion.
August 28, Saudi warplanes have conducted new attacks on Yemen’s northwestern Sa’ada Province, killing five people there. Earlier, Human Rights Watch called on Saudi Arabia to “immediately stop”
it’s use of cluster munitions against Yemen, which has resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians in the country.
The Saudi-led offensive in Yemen has lost it’s initial momentum. After breaking out of Aden and advancing into the lightly defended areas of Lahj and Ibb provinces, anti-Houthi advances have now reached areas
where they cannot to move further fastly In the west, clashes have been focused on the city of Taiz, where the urban terrain and entrenched Houthi positions have slowed the offensive significantly. Houthi forces have been answering by a flexible defense in these areas.
To the east, where Saudi forces have captured the Lawder city, Houthi forces have successfully established positions in the Mukayras area, preventing northwestern operations into Bayda province. As forces
reorganize following the breakout from Aden and as more resources are brought into the area, Saudi Arabia’s military and militants will eventually be able to overpower Houthi in Yemen’s southern regions. Nonetheless,
their momentum to advance has failed.
In the north, Saudi Arabia has been working to open another front in Marib. An offensive push driving west toward Sanaa is an evident move for Saudi-backed units. Houthi fighters have been answering by increasing
cross-border operations into Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militants are openly moving through certain areas of the Aden Peninsula. The jihadist group has exploited the crisis to establish stronger control over certain locations in Hadramawt province and enter in Aden.