Yemen army takes last Qaeda stronghold in Abyan

– Yemeni army forces and allied fighters seized the last al-Qaeda stronghold in the southern Abyan province late Thursday, according to a local military source, reported Anadolu Agency.

The source told Anadolu Agency that army forces seized control of the center of al-Mahfad district, the last stronghold of al-Qaeda group in Abyan.

“Our soldiers were deployed at the entries and exits of the area without resistance,” he said anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media.

According to the source, Saudi-led warplanes carried out airstrikes against al-Qaeda positions in al-Mahfad.

There was no official comment from the Yemeni army on the claim.

Yemen fell into a civil war in late 2014 when Houthi rebels overran capital Sanaa and other provinces, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

The conflict escalated last year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive military campaign in Yemen aimed at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.