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Yemen : Houthi powerful rebels dissolve Parliament, take full Power

By Tajuddin
In SPOTLIGHT
Feb 6th, 2015
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Shiite Houthi powerful rebels

Shiite Houthi powerful rebels

Sanaa, Yemen ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Yemen’s powerful Shi’ite rebels finalized their takeover of the country Friday, announcing they have dissolved parliament and are establishing a new presidential council to run Yemeni affairs.

In a televised statement, the Houthi militia said it was also forming a 551-member national council to replace parliament.

Yemen has been mired in political turmoil for months, in addition to instability caused by the al-Qaida branch in the country.

Last month, Houthi rebels took over the residence of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, prompting him and his Cabinet to resign.

The failure of a truce between the Houthi militia and the government of the U.S.-backed Hadi sparked reports that Washington would suspend counterterrorism operations in Yemen until the situation stabilized.

Despite the political crisis, President Barack Obama vowed there would be no let-up, saying the United States would continue to pursue “high value targets inside Yemen.”

The group, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, claimed responsibility for the deadly terror attacks in Paris last month and has vowed to carry out similar ones ones in the future.

The U.S. considers AQAP al-Qaida’s most dangerous offshoot.

Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari, as seen in January, was reportedly killed along with three other AQAP fighters in a drone strike in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province.

Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari, as seen in January, was reportedly killed along with three other AQAP fighters in a drone strike in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province.

U.S. Airstrike Kills Senior al Qaeda Militant in Yemen

A U.S. airstrike killed a senior official from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen last week, the group confirmed on Thursday, but the militants vowed the killing would have little impact on their operations.

AQAP said Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari —AQAP’s spiritual leader—and three other fighters died in a drone strike in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province.

Although Mr. Nadhari was part of the AQAP command’s inner circle, the killing might not have an impact the group’s operations. U.S. strikes have killed off senior leaders from across the al Qaeda franchise from Afghanistan to Yemen over the years, only to see new commanders rise up.

“This is a war and whoever gets martyred in this war, [it] doesn’t affect al Qaeda’s struggle against its enemies,” said an AQAP spokesman reached by an online messaging service. “If one of us is killed, three or five or maybe more [steps up].…We’re not like the Nazis or communists who lose wars when their leaders get killed. The battle is still on.”

When U.S. forces killed al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in 2011, they declared that the organization was on its knees, but AQAP has made significant gains across Yemen since, despite a robust American counterterrorism program in the country. A yet more brutal group, Islamic State, has since emerged, erecting a de facto state across parts of Syria and Iraq.

Yemen-based AQAP is considered by U.S. officials to be al Qaeda’s most deadly franchise, and the most capable of launching global attacks.

When AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack in January on the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, it was Mr. Nadhari who made the announcement via an audio recording.

The U.S. has long cooperated with Yemeni authorities on efforts to rid the country of AQAP, principally by carrying out airstrikes and providing intelligence assistance.

The abrupt resignation of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his cabinet on Jan. 22 after Houthi rebels overran the capital, San’a, cast doubt on the future of those efforts. But U.S. strikes have continued despite Yemen’s political crisis

The Jan. 31 drone strike that killed Mr. Nadhari was the second U.S. airstrike since Mr. Hadi’s resignation. Although American defense officials have expressed concern that his resignation would affect the U.S. counterterrorism operation in Yemen—as Mr. Hadi personally signed off on such attacks—it was unclear whether the recent drone strikes were done unilaterally, without Yemeni permission, or not.

A U.S. defense official said on Thursday that they believe Mr. Nadhari was killed in Saturday’s strike, but that they were still working to confirm that was the case.

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