Washington’s declaration of the seizure of a hidden bomb prepared by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), whose stronghold is in south Yemen, in order to blow up a U.S. civil aircraft, prepare for many possibilities including waging an expanded military operation in this vulnerable and divided country. That is especially the U.S. declaration coincided with the declaration of Pentagon to give back the military team who trains the Yemeni Counterterrorism Forces, after the team left Yemen due to the injury of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the bombing of the presidential mosque in early June last year.
The U.S. declaration emphasizes risk of the type of the explosive device which is hard to be detected by security apparatuses in airports, which also the double agent managed to leave Yemen with it without being discovered, before handing it to the U.S. intelligence officers.
Few days ago, coincided with the first anniversary of death of al-Qaeda Leader Osama Bin Laden, the U.S. President Obama announced from Kabul that his country has managed to drive out the terrorist group of al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and prevented it from recollecting its leadership and forces in this country. However, confirmation of the growing danger of al-Qaeda in Yemen against the U.S. security tells that the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, whose duty is to end up soon, may find another target in an area that is not too far. That is especially under the incapability of Yemeni authorities to stop expansion of al-Qaeda in southern and eastern provinces, and the repetitive painful attacks against the army and threatening Aden City, Yemen’s second largest city of and its economic capital.
The Yemeni army seems shocked all the time of the well-planned attacks of the terrorists, who found a haven to enhance their abilities as local extremist forces joined them, just as as had happened in Afghanistan during the term of Taliban’s rule. But, this did not result from lack of potentials in number and equipment, but it is as intuitive result of political divisions and the several loyalties that are still plaguing its leaderships and weakening its cohesion and readiness. It also the result of the delay in implementing the political and military decision to reunify the army, due to complexities of the crisis which paralyzed the country for over a year and did not end even after the change of the president or the positions of some senior officers.
Until now, encountering al-Qaeda task is still assigned to the locally-deployed forces, while the highly-equipped elite forces, such as First Armored Division and Republican Guards, are deploying in and in the environs of the capital in the context of political conflict. Every one of them tries to push the other to the battle in the south, in order to weaken it, as had happened in the wars against Houthis.
There is no sign that reunification of the institutions may get out of its slow context.
That is why Americans increase relying on the strikes waged by drones to eradicate leaders of al-Qaeda in Yemen. However, this only would not be sufficient if not accompanied with military action on ground, which the Yemeni army is unable to carry out. Although Obama Administration rules out any new external military involvement after the high-cost wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, the growing danger coming from south of Yemen may drive it to seriously think of the possibility of direct interfere within the next months, especially if it successes in the presidential elections.