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Al-Qaeda 'fighting with Saudi-led coalition forces' in Yemen

Government forces have been fighting with Saudi-led coalition troops to combat Houthis [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 February, 2016

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Al-Qaeda militants have been seen fighting alongside pro-government and Saudi-led coalition forces in their battle against the Houthis.
Al-Qaeda has joined Saudi-led coalition forces in the fight against Houthi rebels, it has emerged.

Fighters from the militant group have teamed up with pro-government militias as well as UAE soldiers on the frontlines of the war.

The revelations came from a documentary filmmaker who was filming with the fighters just a few miles from Yemen's besieged Taiz, the BBC reported.

But the 10-nation coalition has denied collaborating with what they describe as a "terrorist organisation" that has attacked its troops as well as Yemeni officials in recent months.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, about half of them civilians, since the Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign to combat Houthi rebels across the country ten months ago.

 

But the latest pending battle is focused on the besieged northern city, Taiz – Yemen's third largest with over 200,000 residents.

Saudi Arabian documentary filmmaker, Safa al-Ahmad, who filmed Houthi rebels at the height of their movement in September 2014, was just a few miles from the Taiz frontlines when she said she was told not to film a group seen participating with the coalition because they were angered by the presence of a woman.

The group, she was told, was Ansar al-Sharia, an al-Qaeda affiliate in the Araban Peninsula (AQAP).

Fears that power vacuums and a deteriorating security crisis in parts of southern Yemen have allowed extremist groups - such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group to proliferate.

Al-Qaeda militants captured Ahwar on Saturday, adding yet another southern town to the list of territories under their control.

Three pro-government fighters were captured by the militants and had their throats slit during the operation.

Despite this, numerous reports revealing co-operation between militants and government troops have emerged since the aerial campaign began in March.

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