The United States have decided to retreat 100 Special Forces troops from Yemen, more than 24 hours after suicide bombers killed at least 142 people in Sanaa, the capital of the country.
Hundreds of people were injured in the attacks, which targeted two mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, during Friday prayers. The coordinated attacks were claimed by Islamic State.
By doing this the Islamic State group is seeking to exploit the chaotic situation in Yemen. Suicide bombings targeted two mosques frequented by members of the Shiite Huthi militia in control of the Sanaa. More than 351 people were wounded and at least 142 died in what is considered to be the deadliest extremist attacks in Yemen’s history.
The Islamic State warned it was “the tip of the iceberg” for Yemen. On the other hand, AQAP, the country’s Al-Qaeda branch, announced in a statement that it avoided “targeting mosques and markets”.
The attack in Yemen came just a few days after another IS carnage which took place in Tunisia, at the National Bardo Musem. 21 people died, mostly foreign tourists lost their lives in that attack.
According to experts, the extremist is trying to show that it has the capacity to launch a coordinated campaign of attacks.
The situation in Yemen is chaotic since 2012, when the longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh was ousted. Huthi militiamen entered the capital unopposed last year.
The Huthis surrounded the presidential palace in Sanaa and forced President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to leave the capital. The militia has met a tough resistance from AQAP and Sunni fighters, after it tried a push into central Yemen.
AQAP, a group considered by the United States to be the one of the most dangerous jihadist organisations, was formed in 2009. It is responsible for a high number of bloody attacks on Yemeni security forces in recent years.
AQAP claimed responsibility for the heinous January 7 attack in Paris on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, after the French journalists published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
IS is challenging AQAP in Yemen. The Islamic State seized patrs of Syria and Iraq last year and is now expanding into other Muslim countries, like Egypt and Libya. and also Nigeria, Yemen and Tunisia.
“Since the Huthi militiamen took control of the capital and a good part of the country, Al-Qaeda lost credibility, having been unable to defend even Sunni provinces,” said for the Daily Mail Mathieu Guidere, an expert in Islam at the University of Toulouse.
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