Iran's arm has escalated its cooperation with al-Qaeda to threaten the south and impose its conditions

English - Saturday 21 January 2023 الساعة 08:03 am
Aden, NewsYemen, exclusive:

The terrorist Houthi militia, the Iranian arm in Yemen, escalated its cooperation with the terrorist al-Qaeda organization, within the framework of destabilizing the liberated southern governorates and to press for approval of its conditions, which were conveyed by the Omani delegation that visited Sana'a last week, as part of international efforts to establish peace and end the war in Yemen.

The Houthi escalation with al-Qaeda coincided with the recognition of the organization's emir in Yemen, Khaled Batarfi, of the organization's weakness in the south of the country due to the painful blows it received from the southern forces in the military operations it carried out in the governorates of Abyan and Shabwa.

Earlier, information obtained by "Newsyemen" revealed a new prisoner exchange deal between the Houthi militia and Al-Qaeda that took place this month and included the release of 17 Al-Qaeda members in exchange for the release of 9 Houthi militia members.

According to the information, this deal came after several meetings between the negotiator of the terrorist organization, Abdullah Ali Alawi Muzahim, nicknamed "Al-Zarqawi", and the negotiator of the Houthi militia, Mohammed Salem Al-Nakhai, "Abu Anas".

Those interested in the Yemeni issue believe that the negotiations between the Houthi militia and Al-Qaeda may not be limited to the exchange of prisoners, but may include strengthening coordination between the two sides and supporting Al-Qaeda in order to return to its terrorist activity in the liberated southern regions.

While local observers link the timing of the exchange deal, which is essentially the release of dangerous terrorist elements, to the international efforts currently being made to resume the peace process that was halted after the Houthi militia refused to renew the UN humanitarian truce on October 2, 2022.

Observers considered this deal a dangerous escalation of servitude between Al-Houthi and Al-Qaeda and a message to the forces affiliated within the framework of legitimacy in addition to the threats made by Al-Qaeda leader Khaled Batarfi through a video recording published by the organization's Al-Malahem Foundation to the Presidential Leadership Council and the Southern Transitional Council against the background of the military operations carried out by the latter's forces.

Batarfi said, in his speech, that the organization in Abyan, Shabwa and Al-Bayda (south) suffers from weak capabilities and lack of supplies, at a time when it is facing continuous campaigns by the southern forces, especially in Abyan and Shabwa.

In general, this exchange is not the first between the Houthi terrorist organizations and Al-Qaeda. Rather, it comes within a framework of servitude that began with the militias' coup against power and their control of state institutions in Sana'a in September 2014.

It is no secret that the relationship between the two terrorist organizations is characterized by cooperation in various fields, including security and intelligence cooperation, providing a safe haven for many members of these terrorist organizations, coordinating combat operations against the forces of legitimacy, enabling the elements of the two organizations to build and fortify their strongholds, and refraining from entering into real confrontations with them.  The coup group, and this was confirmed by an intelligence report issued by the Political and National Security Apparatuses in March 2021 and submitted to the UN Security Council.

While security reports indicated that the first direct cooperation between "Al Qaeda and Al Houthi" dates back to 2015.  When the militias played the role of mediator between Iran and al-Qaeda in a prisoner exchange deal, to release an Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped by the organization, in exchange for Tehran releasing five senior al-Qaeda leaders from Iranian prisons.  The Yemeni intelligence report spoke of the release by the Houthi militia of 252 terrorist prisoners who were imprisoned in the prison of the Political Security and National Security apparatus in Sana'a and other provinces, headed by the terrorist Jamal Muhammad al-Badawi, one of the most prominent masterminds of the bombing of the American destroyer "USS Cole", who was released.  militias in 2018, gave him a false identity and provided him with a safe haven in their areas of control.

The report indicated that the Houthi militia used al-Qaeda elements and leaders in their areas of control to lead military operations against government forces, as well as carry out terrorist operations in the liberated southern regions and help mobilize elements for the fronts.

The Houthi militia also turned the city of Mukalla, during its control over it in April 2015, into a center for smuggling weapons and drugs to the terrorist Houthi militia. It also facilitated the entry of hundreds of experts and fighters affiliated with the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Sanaa to participate in military operations against government forces.