Abu Dhabi- “The campaign launched by the coalition and government forces in Yemen to clear al-Mukalla Governorate has revealed the presence of large amounts of heavy arms and high explosive ammunitions hidden at government headquarters or other places and were used by al-Qaeda militants before they were expelled from the city,” informed sources from the Arab Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen said.
Various types of heavy arms were found at al-Qaeda’s hideouts, the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat. These arms include “T-55” tanks, “Mortar” cannons, “Tochka” and “Katyusha” missiles, explosives, anti-tank mines.
Despite finding this large amount of weapons, Yemeni government and coalition forces have also found two local plants that have been constructed by the terrorist organization; the first is specialized in manufacturing improvised explosive devices, and the second is specialized in booby-trapping cars.
The sources explained that the large amount of arms and equipment manufactured by al-Qaeda terrorist organization before being expelled from the city recently, reveals clearly their expansion schemes and their willingness to establish an emirate in the Arabian Peninsula in order to threaten regional security and peace.
What al-Qaeda did in Yemen, the sources added, is similar to ISIS’s experience in Syria as the latter benefited from the civil war between the Syrian regime and the opposition forces, and it consolidated its presence in the country in order to set up an entire submissive entity.
In addition to the arms, leaflets calling for fighting against coalition and U.S. forces, and warning from working for these forces were found at al-Qaeda’s hideouts.
Notably, al-Mukalla is a main sea port and the capital city of the Hadramaut coastal region in Yemen in the southern part of Arabia on the Gulf of Aden close to the Arabian Sea.
Al Mukalla is the fifth largest city in Yemen with a population of approximately 300,000. The city is served by the nearby Riyan Airport.
Yemen, al-Mukalla, al-Qaeda, ISIS, terrorism