In recent months Al Qaeda and Da’esh terrorists have made a comeback in Yemen, adding further woe to a country where 3 million people have been displaced in an ongoing civil war. Yemen is one of the world’s most water insecure states.
In a recent statement, UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani described the development as “deeply worrying”.
The conflict pits the internationally recognized government of Yemen against a Houthi rebellion backed by Iran. The government of Yemen has long enjoyed the support of a Saudi-led international coalition. However, this narrative has obscured the nested conflict within that conflict.
Al Qaeda and Da’esh have created neo-tribal natal states in the South of Yemen and a recent uptick in violence in the region suggests they are on the march. This is a conflict between Da’esh and Al Qaeda for control of of the region and is just as vital to U.S. national interest.
Indeed, disturbing evidence posted on social media appears to show Al-Qaeda forces fighting alongside government forces in a battle with another militia in Yemen’s troubled South.