The United States commends the success of the Yemeni government, military, and people in re-taking important areas of southern Yemen, including the cities of Ja’ar and Zinjibar, from al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). After sustained Yemeni operations, AQAP no longer controls those cities. These achievements come just weeks after the violent extremists were similarly pushed out of the city of Lawdar. Al-Qa’ida’s presence in Abyan has had a devastating impact on the citizens there and prevented the delivery of critical humanitarian assistance desperately needed by the Yemeni people. We extend our deepest condolences for those who lost their lives and note the courageous efforts of Yemeni citizens who joined with the Yemeni military in the fight against terrorism. Their bravery serves as a reminder that the Yemeni population rejects al-Qa’ida and the violence it promotes.
As Yemeni security services continue to reclaim territory previously held by AQAP, we encourage the prompt restoration of civilian authority, humanitarian relief, and essential public services across Yemen. The United States remains committed to working with Yemen as it addresses the many challenges it faces – in the security realm as well as political, economic, and humanitarian affairs. We will continue to work with President Hadi and the Yemeni people in their efforts to rebuild their nation and ensure long-term stability, safety, and security in Yemen.