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Al-Qaeda Gets a Chance to Govern Under Cover of Yemen War

The city of Mukalla in Yemen.

The city of Mukalla in Yemen.

Photographer: Fawaz Al-Haidari/AFP via Getty Images
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In the port city of Mukalla in southern Yemen, al-Qaeda is in charge. Its militants roam the streets, ordering women to cover their faces and banning shops from displaying lingerie.

The jihadist group, whose local affiliate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula already used Yemen as a base for attacks, has seized the chance to emulate its Islamic State spinoff by holding territory and governing it. The advance has been made possible by a civil war that shifted the priorities of Yemen’s power-brokers.