Yemeni Forces Seize Oil Facilities From Al-Qaeda After Year

Yemeni troops backed by Saudi-led coalition forces wrested control of the main oil terminal in the southeastern province of Hadramaut from al-Qaeda-linked militants after a year, according to a high-ranking security official.

The Yemeni forces seized coastal areas in the region, including the provincial capital of Mukalla, Brigadier Mohammed Saeed al-Jariri, chief of security for coastal areas in Hadramaut, said by phone. They also took the al-Dhaba export terminal, al-Rayan airport and Mukalla’s commercial port, he said.

Local authorities will meet soon to discuss resuming operations at the oil port and other facilities, al-Jariri said. The Yemeni forces are in full control of all Hadramaut’s oil facilities, including the headquarters of the oil companies as well as oil blocks 14 and 51, according to Brigadier Awadh al-Jawhi, commander of al-Rayan Brigade.

Al-Qaeda militants seized Mukalla, a city of about 200,000 people, and most of the province in April last year. Hadramaut was producing more than half of Yemen’s oil before the nation’s war, which erupted after the Shiite Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana’a and drove the Saudi-backed government into exile. Peace talks between the government and rebels are taking place in Kuwait.

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