Yemen’s Interior Ministry has confirmed that the al-Qaeda terrorists are fighting alongside Saudi-backed militants in Yemen's strategic Ma’rib province, as Yemeni forces are pressing ahead with an offensive to liberate the city.
In a statement carried by al-Masirah television network on Sunday, Yemen’s Deputy Interior Minister Major General Abdul Majeed al-Murtadha said devices and equipment owned by al-Qaeda were found in the central province of al-Bayda after the Yemeni military managed to clear terrorists from there, which were linked to foreign intelligence services.
Murtadha said the United States was annoyed after the Yemeni armed forces and allied fighters from popular committees managed to eliminate a-Qaeda in al-Bayda, adding that this is the reason why Washington is calling on the Yemeni forces to halt their offensive on the city.
"We tell the people of Ma'rib, those who are fighting today are those affiliated with this [terrorist] organizational outfit and our operation aims to rescue the citizens from getting involved in their battles" he said.
The Yemeni official further called on citizens to stand firm in the face of the Takfiri intelligence groups, adding that their presence represents a threat to Ma’rib’s security and safety.
The remarks came after Yemen’s Security and Intelligence Service detailed the operation of Takfiri terrorists in the city.
In a report on Saturday, the agency pinpointed the hideouts of the terrorists, hotels they hold their meetings as well as their arms depots and supply warehouses in Ma’rib.
The report marked out training and rehabilitation camps belonging to the al-Qaeda terrorists, and the terrorists’ links with Saudi-backed militants loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
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 the capital, Sana’a.
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 terror groups have come together 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 the Yemeni troops and allied Popular Committees fighters, who are pushing against Saudi-backed militants.
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 former regime.
In recent weeks, numerous reports have emerged about civilians being used as human shields and preventing them from leaving the city by the Takfiri terrorists and Saudi-backed mercenaries in Ma’rib.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing Hadi back to power.
The war has turned Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead and many others facing famine and starvation. It has taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.
The ongoing Saudi military aggression has provided an opportunity for terrorist groups such as Daesh and al-Qaeda to secure a foothold in impoverished Yemen.