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Opinion and Editorial

Tackle Al Qaeda, Daesh in Yemen

Filed on May 17, 2016 | Last updated on May 17, 2016 at 07.07 am

What made it horrible is that Daesh claimed responsibility for both the attacks.

Two back-to-back attacks by Daesh in Yemen is quite worrisome. More than 40 people were killed in the southeastern port city of Mukalla as a suicide bomber exploded himself at a recruitment centre, and in another incident militants attacked Yemeni troops. The Saturday's attacks were surprising as days ago Al Qaeda was successfully pushed back from Mukalla, and the area was being mopped by security forces.

What made it horrible is that Daesh claimed responsibility for both the attacks. The entry of Daesh in one of the most troublesome battle zones of the Arab world is unnerving. Al Qaeda and Daesh nexus is a serious security threat to the integrity and sovereignty of Yemen, and it is in need of being exterminated. The rise in terror incidents a week after US Special Forces resumed operations in Yemen, in aid of the Arab coalition, makes it a more deadly challenge.

The yearlong war in Yemen is entering a decisive phase, as new dynamics are emerging in the region. Peace talks in Kuwait and Geneva to address the Yemeni and Syrian issues, respectively, have made some progress. But the ground realities in Iraq are in a flux where Daesh is on the loose. The need of the hour is to work closely on the vision spelt out by Saudi Foreign Minister Abel Al Jubeir, who said that the priority is no longer to wage a war against the Houthis but to fight Al Qaeda and Daesh. He has a point.

The Houthis can be dealt through a dialogue process, provided Iran's meddling comes to an end. But Daesh and Qaeda are too deadly to be spared for another day. Their resurgence in Yemen cannot be overlooked, and they need to be contained. Jubeir's statement is evidence of a change in the situation on the ground in Yemen, and the threat is real and lethal.

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