Yemen: Saudis To Arm "Popular Committees" (aka Al Qaeda)
By Moon Of Alabama
April 23, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - On the 17th Al Qaeda in the
took a city, a military base, an oil terminal and an airport in south Yemen.
Military officials and residents said al-Qaida fighters
clashed briefly with members of one of Yemen's largest brigades outside
Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province, which the militants overran
earlier this month. The militants then seized control of Riyan airport and
moved to secure their hold on the city's main seaport, which is also an oil
The security officials, speaking from Sanaa on condition
of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press, said the
leaders of the brigade in charge of protecting the entire area fled.
Nasser Baqazouz, an activist in the city, said the
troops guarding the airport put up little resistance to al-Qaida
Reading that I
Now Saudis can fly in ammo and men
That was meant more as a joke but now turns out to be likely
The overrun brigade who's commander fled and who's soldiers
did not fight AQ was the 27th Infantry brigade in Mukalla. Its supreme
commander and "sponsor"
is Mohammed Ali
The commander of the Eastern Area is BG Mohammed Ali Mohsen.
The Eastern Area includes the governorates of Hadramawt and al-Mahra.
Ali Mohsen earlier fled to Saudi Arabia. He is near to the
Yemeni branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, Islah, which unlike other MB branches
traditionally receives support from Saudi Arabia.
Calling from Saudi Arabi Ali Mohsen ordered his troops to put
up no resistance to the takeover of the city and the airport by Al Qaeda.
To hide their traces a bit the Al Qaeda folks immediately
Qaeda fighters have seized the airport, government buildings
and a refinery around Al Mukalla, establishing themselves as the most
powerful local force. In an effort to win popular support,
they have begun calling themselves the Sons of Hadhramaut
and have promised to quickly return control of the city to local civilian
leaders. When they seized a major army base outside of the city on Friday,
they allowed the soldiers inside to leave unharmed,
according to a local tribal leader.
The Al Qaeda folks who captured the airport renamed themselves
to get "popular support". My hunch is that the "Sons of Hadhramaut" are now a
[Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.] Adel Al-Jubeir
said that Saudi Arabia is providing support and weapons to
so-called “Popular Committees,” militia groups who have in recent
years emerged in Yemen as a counterweight to extremist groups in the
country. Jubeir said that if the Houthis do not join the political process,
these groups will step up activity against them.
To the Saudis the Zeyda Shia and especially the Houthis are
"extremist groups". Al Qaeda, especially in the form of "popular committees"
like the "Sons of Hadhramaut", are friends and tools to be armed and used to
Saudi advantage. As the Houthies will certainly not give up under Saudi pressure
the Riyan Mukalla Airport seized by the "popular" "Sons of Hadhramaut" will soon
be indeed very busy.
But the Saudis are again miscalculating if they believe that
the Jihadist are a match for the war experienced Houthies and the Republican
Guard troops under former president Saleh who are allied with them. Al Qaeda is
not a capable ground force. It can be beaten in open fighting. Whether the
Houthies could thereafter hold on to southern parts of country against the will
of the local population is a different question.