Security forces in Yemen's temporary capital, Aden, announced that the militants' attack on the Criminal Investigation Department had been contained and the building is now under complete control after 24 hours of clashes. The militants are believed to be members of al-Qaeda.
Aden security stated that 20 soldiers and a number of civilians were killed during the attack and dozens others injured. Security forces also stated that 11 prisoners had been freed during the attack, however, one of the militants was arrested after he had been identified by one of the jail keepers.
The attack of Qaeda suspects resembles the times following the liberation of Aden from Houthi and Saleh where several assassinations and attacks took place. Since then, assassinations didn't stop, but they had been fewer ones due to security measures that stabilized the situation in the region. In addition, security forces had been able to establish their control on Aden through a series of arrests and high security measures.
However, observers stated that the attack unraveled security vulnerabilities in the city due to several armed forces hiding behind resistance facade and claiming control of several areas. This made it is easier for terrorist clusters to operate under the same mechanism.
Military and security analyst Brigadier General Thabet Saleh stated that the incident in Aden is not only a terrorist attack that ISIS rushed into claiming responsibility for. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the attack is far more dangerous than people can imagine.
Saleh said that it was a planned and calculated attempt to shift the military and security power in Aden and the south to the forces of terrorism and corruption.
Analysts believe that the attack didn’t only aim to release prisoners, but it was also a response to all the recent successes of the security forces over Qaeda in Aden and nearby governorates Lahij and Abyan. They stated that recent achievements of the security forces were uncovering huge amounts of weapons, ammunition, and directed shells in one of Qaeda’s clusters in al-Mahfad district, east of Abyan.
Asharq al-Awsat spoke to several civilians who indicated that the bigger problem lies in the proliferation of arms in Aden which encourages outlaws to execute operations that could harm the country’s security and people’s interests, including terrorist attacks.
They added that a comprehensive security force should be established to manage Aden’s security, and performs the security and intelligence functions as well as directing the counter-terrorism force.
Citizens rely heavily on the joint coordination between the coalition and the legitimate forces in security matters.