A simplified map of the divisions in Yemen reminds us of al-Qaeda's presence

Published August 16th, 2015 - 09:00 GMT
An image grab from a video released on March 29, 2014 by al-Malahem Media, the media arm of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. (AFP/File)
An image grab from a video released on March 29, 2014 by al-Malahem Media, the media arm of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. (AFP/File)

Earlier this month a map of all the tribes in Yemen showed the conflict was far more complex than we could've ever imagined.

Yet there's one large force the map forgot to factor in, a force we've hardly heard about lately: al-Qaeda. 

A map created by the Institute for United Conflicts Analysts is a stark reminder of the extremist group's presence. Despite tribal clashes throughout the country — rival factions of Houthi rebels pitted against exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's loyalists — al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remains largely in control of central parts of the war-torn country.

AQAP and its allies are represented in gray, pro-government forces brown, and Houthi supporters red. 

Besides reports of US drone strikes in Yemen targeting al-Qaeda leaders, not much has been said about the militants lately. Al-Qaeda has attacked and explicitly come out against both Hadi and the Houthis — but we have yet to see how the group's stance will play out in the country's civil war. 

Thursday's map reflects pro-government troops regaining key parts of southern territories, including the port city of Aden, while the capital Sanaa (the western spot in dark red) remains a Houthi stronghold.

By Hayat Norimine


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