coalition carried out air strikes on the al Qaeda-held port of Mukalla
in southern Yemen on Sunday, killing at least ten militants, medical
sources and residents said, part of an offensive to recapture the city.
a shipping hub and provincial capital, is a stronghold of the powerful
al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which has taken advantage of
Yemen’s year-long civil war to win control over parts of the south and
Residents said air strikes
hit a building that AQAP was using as its headquarters, as well as
gatherings of the group elsewhere in Mukalla.
Yemeni military source said the air strikes were being coordinated with
troops on the ground. In recent days, residents and local officials
have reported preparations for a pro-government ground offensive on
It comes as Yemen’s
government meets with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Kuwait to try to
find a solution to a conflict which has killed more than 6,200 people
and divided up control of the country.
Arabia and its mostly Arab coalition has carried out air strikes in
Yemen for the past year to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu
Mansour Hadi against the Houthis.
Although the main
war is being fought between the Houthis and the Yemeni government backed
by coalition air strikes, the military and local fighters have also
been battling AQAP, which is also subject to U.S. drone strikes.
Saturday, government forces battled al Qaeda at al-Koud near Zinjibar,
another southern city considered an al Qaeda stronghold, while an air
strike from a drone killed two suspected al Qaeda fighters south of the
city of Marib.
The Houthis control
the capital Sanaa while the Saudi-backed administration of Hadi has
tried to re-establish itself in the southern port city of Aden.