Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has published a statement explaining the reasons for its withdrawal from Mukalla, a port city in Yemen that the jihadists ruled for one year. AQAP’s statement illustrates the organization’s strategy for building and preserving popular support in the region.
A Saudi-led Arab coalition has entered the Yemeni port city of Mukalla, which had been a stronghold for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) since April 2015. AQAP reportedly withdrew most of its forces from the city prior to the alliance’s advance. Mukalla is a key part of AQAP’s plan to build an Islamic emirate in Yemen.