first published on April 25, 2018 by Sean
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) conducts a lightning raid on a poorly defended Yemeni government outpost. The intense GoPro video is a rare glimpse inside the underreported sideshow conflict in Yemen that predates the current Houthi war.
The brutal war raging in Yemen between the Saudi-led coalition and the Iranian backed Houthi rebels is one of the worst current humanitarian crisis’s in the world – famine and endless Saudi airstrikes plague much of the country. However, there is also a sideshow conflict raging between AQAP and the Yemeni government that predates the three-year Houthi war.
AQAP has been operating in Yemen for over a decade now and has played a continually antagonistic role throughout the countries endless internal problems. Formed after combining both Yemeni and Saudi al-Qaeda wings in 2009, the group launched terrorist attacks against the west and established an emirate during the 2011 revolution.
Using the revolution, and then the simmering Houthi conflict as an anarchic backdrop, the active terrorist organization managed to secure a strong foothold in the country. According to the Washington Post, “Even at its peak, its core fighters numbered no more than 4,000. Rather, AQAP worked to secure buy-in from key city and tribal leaders and to win passive toleration from local populations. As coalition bombs rained down in Yemen’s west, crippled by the Saudi naval blockade, AQAP’s territory looked like a haven of stability.”
The article continued, “AQAP has been careful not to alienate local populations. When innocent tribesmen were accidentally killed in operations designed to target the Yemeni military, AQAP published apologies and negotiated to pay blood money. The eruption of war in 2015 gave AQAP the opportunity to align itself against the Houthis, whom it had long deemed infidel allies of Iran. AQAP recast southerners’ historical fears of a takeover by northerners as a sectarian battle of Sunnis vs. Shiites.”
The allegedly recent and rare GoPro video below captures one such brutal raid by AQAP on a Yemeni government forces outpost. The militants rapidly and violently attack and advance through the series of berms and tents, eliminating troops and driving off the surviving defenders.