Yemen’s Defense Ministry reports that government forces, in conjunction with local militias, have captured the main southern stronghold of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the town of al-Mahfad.
Reportedly dozens of AQAP and other assorted militants were killed after government forces and allied tribal militias, known as “popular committees,” entered al-Mahfad.
Local militia commander Amin Qassem told Reuters, “The army and the Popular Committee members have completed control of al-Mahfad and we are now in the center of the district. Al Qaeda elements have fled to the mountains, but we will keep going after them.”
Witnesses said the army used heavy artillery during its push into al-Mahfad.
This successful capture of the Al Qaeda stronghold follows on the heels of “a series of airstrikes, including U.S. drones, against insurgent bastions, in which Yemen said some 65 fighters had been killed.”
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