By Julian Pecquet - 06/12/12 03:05 PM EDT
The insurgency has brought Yemen to the brink of civil war and threatened to split the country in two, prompting U.S. fears that it could turn into a new safe haven for al Qaeda forces. The Obama administration has launched an aggressive campaign of drone strikes that have reportedly alienated many people in the area.
Here's the full statement:
It is with great pride that I announce that Yemen’s military has recaptured significant territories previously controlled by Ansar al-Sharia, a local affiliate of al-Qaeda. Earlier today, the army took control of the Governor’s mansion in Zinjibar, the provincial capital of the Governorate of Abyan. Furthermore, Yemeni troops arrived at the center of Jaar at dawn following weeks of fierce battles. Demining engineers have been dispatched to sweep and clear previously held areas in Abyan.
Military forces currently positioned in Abyan and Shabwa have been mobilized by the Commander in Chief, Field Marshal Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, President of the Republic of Yemen, to pursuit fleeing militants and to recapture the coastal town of Shaqra in Abyan. In addition, the military is on the move to besiege al-Qaeda’s stronghold in Shabwa, the strategic city of Azzan. Yemen’s military, with the direct support of the patriotic citizens of Abyan, have broken the strength of al-Qaeda.
Despite the battles won by the military, al-Qaeda continues to be a major threat to the security and stability of Yemen.