But one undeniably interesting story is this, from The Yemen Observer.
A Yemeni tribal sheikh said Tuesday that al-Qaeda fighters who are being cornered in a mountainous area in southern Yemen threatened to kill him if he did not stop trying to negotiate with them.
“ I tried to contact with them for negotiations, but they told me to stay away from them, and they said they would kill me to closer to Allah (God) if I do not stop trying to talk to them,” Sheikh Hassan Ba Hanhan of Al Huta said.
Again, this shows how little respect AQAP has for some Yemeni norms, even as it seeks to use others to solidify itself. Right now, I am unsure if these threats come from a position of strength or weakness. My instinct says weakness. I think the ferocity of the fighting may have taken them off guard. Another interesting part of that story is this:
Yaslem Bajanoob, chairman of the local council of Mayfa’a, said that some people are hesitant to leave their houses and properties because they are afraid of plundering and looting acts if the army storms the village.
Bajanoob said that the tribesmen held meetings today Tuesday and warned from any looting and plundering of their houses and properties.
Many complications in these battles. Memories of the army looting and stealing after the 1994 war are still fresh. Even the most secular Southerner, overjoyed at the destruction of fanatics, also is wary of the army. I think that people tend not to want to project the messiness of their own lives to other countries. Looking abroad, we tend to see enemy or friend, without knowing how the two can overlap, even though we see that in our politics all the time. In Yemen, an enemy of AQAP can also be an enemy of Salih. We have to embrace complexity instead of ignoring it.