Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Saudi rulers are not interested in fighting Al Qaeda and ISIL in Yemen

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015   No comments

Dubai (AFP) - Al-Qaeda has gained more ground amidst the chaos in Yemen -- this time in second city Aden -- but for now Saudi Arabia is turning a blind eye to its longtime enemy, experts say.

Supported by a Saudi-led military coalition, forces loyal to Yemen's exiled government retook Aden last month from Iran-backed Huthi rebels who have seized large parts of the country including the capital Sanaa.

As authorities work to reassert control over Aden, the capital of formerly independent South Yemen, Al-Qaeda has moved into the gap.


The jihadist group's militants, already in control of other parts of southern Yemen, are reported to have taken up positions in several strategic parts of the city.

But experts say that while Saudi Arabia may turn eventually to tackling Al-Qaeda in its southern neighbour, Riyadh's focus now is purely on stopping the Huthis.

"I don't think Saudi Arabia's main priority in Yemen is Al-Qaeda... The Huthis are more of a high priority," said Ibrahim Fraihat, a senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center.

"That's probably another reason why we saw Al-Qaeda flourishing" in the south, he said.

Ed Isr

About Ed Isr

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