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Yemeni intelligence agency details terror activities of Qaeda leaders, operatives in Ma’rib

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants at an undisclosed location in Yemen’s eastern province of Hadhramaut. (Photo via Twitter)

Yemen’s Security and Intelligence Service has detailed the operation of Takfiri terrorists in the country’s strategic Ma’rib province as Yemeni forces push ahead with an offensive to liberate it from the Saudi-led control.

In a report, the agency pinpointed the hideouts of the terrorists, hotels they hold their meetings as well as their arms depots and supply warehouses, Yemen’s al-Masirah television reported.

The report also marked out training and rehabilitation camps belonging to al-Qaeda terrorists, and the terrorists’ links with Saudi-backed militants loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The report, it said, seeks to inform the public about the extent of conspiracies which the Yemeni nation faces, and the amount of support that terrorists receive from Saudi Arabia and its allies.

The Yemeni intelligence agency said it will publish the detailed report, which includes maps and other information about the presence of the Takfiri terrorists in Ma’rib.  

Last month, Yemeni officials said members of the al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups were using Ma’rib as a launchpad for attacks on other regions in the country, and receiving training from Saudi military officers.

“Al-Qaeda and Daesh groups have turned Ma’rib into a launch pad for attacks on the entire Yemeni territory. They are under the command of a Saudi officer, and sending car bombs and death squads across the country,” Director of Yemen’s Presidency Office Ahmed Hamed said in Sana’a.

"Those who are now crying foul over the ongoing battle in Ma’rib were silent when Sana’a was under threat from Islah Party, al-Qaeda and Daesh,” he said.

Chairman of the Comprehensive National Reconciliation and Political Solution Team Yousef Abdullah al-Fishi said Yemeni and foreign militants from Islah Party as well as al-Qaeda and Daesh had gathered in Ma’rib, displacing local people after seizing their homes.

Over the past few weeks, Ma’rib has been the scene of large-scale operations by Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters.

On Saturday, Hadi sources said 32 of their fighters had been killed in fighting around Ma’rib governorate over a single day.

Anis Mansour, an activist with the Salafist Islah party, said Saudi warplanes had mistakenly bombed pro-Hadi forces over the past few days, but the information had been held under wraps.

On Monday, Saudi warplanes launched more than two dozen airstrikes against various regions in Ma’rib province.

Yemen’s official Saba news agency said the aircraft carried out 19 air raids against the Sirwah district.

Sirwah district hosts around 30,000 people displaced in harsh conditions as a result of earlier fighting, and the UN has repeatedly warned in recent weeks of a humanitarian crisis for civilians because of the current battles.

According to the UN, more than 8,000 people have been newly displaced in and around Sirwah since early February, many of them fleeing existing displacement camps.

Ma’rib is the last stronghold of pro-Hadi forces in northern Yemen and the loss of the province would mean the defeat of the Saudi-backed regime.

In recent weeks, numerous reports have emerged about civilians being used as human shields and preventing them from leaving the city by Takfiri terrorists and Saudi-backed mercenaries in Ma’rib.

The UN said in December that over 230,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the start of the Saudi war six years ago.

The UN called for $3.85 billion in assistance for Yemen at a meeting this week but received less than half the target ($1.7 billion), despite warning that Yemen was facing the world’s worst famine in decades.

"What we’re talking about is a huge famine. Famines used to be common in the world, but now they’re very rare,” said Mark Lowcock, the head of humanitarian assistance at the UN, last week.

"Famines now are a choice by powerful people over powerless people. You only get a famine as a result of an active decision by powerful people.”

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