Aden- Informed sources have revealed for Asharq Al-Awsat that there is a joint network for the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthi rebels with al-Qaeda, which controls the coast of Hadhramaut province east Yemen. The sources said that the network is engaged in smuggling and trading in arms and explosives and in planting and moving the sleeping cells over a wide area covering a number of provinces.
Private sources have indicated that, within the activities of this network is recruiting young people to join organizations affiliated with extremist groups. They also added that recruitments are not limited to young Yemenis only, but also include African citizens, who head, everyday, to the coasts of Shabwah Governorate.
The sources also said that the network includes senior officers from the Yemeni Republican Guard, formerly led by the son of the ousted president, Brigadier General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, and are associated with extensive contacts with similar officers in a number of southern and eastern provinces.
Furthermore, the sources also indicated that a large part of the military weapons belonging to brigades, which were in Aden, Lahij, Abyan and in other southern provinces, were being smuggled through the network form those provinces to private sites in the desert to be sold for weapon dealers; in addition to the arms reaching the coast via fishing boats.
In a common matter, tribal sources in Shabwah Governorate told Asharq Al-Awsat that the coalition forces have tightened the noose on the smuggling of weapons and oil products that arrive to the Houthi rebels.
Moreover, Apache helicopters flew yesterday at low altitude over Beer Ali Port in Yemen’s Shabwah Governorate and directed verbal warnings to the boats that are trying to land at port. These boats are not licensed by the Arab Coalition to reach the Yemeni coast.