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Guest Thinkers

Monday Papers

Snow and a broken computer have gotten the week off to a slow start, but across the globe in Yemen things are picking up, even though you wouldn’t know it from the big three.

News Yemen has the latest on the casualty numbers in the tribal fighting in Marib. Mareb Press has details on the mediation attempts.

Marib Press also reports on the an army patrol that came under fire from unknown assailants in Marib, as well as the withdrawal of a German Archaeological team after an attempted kidnapping last week.

But surely the biggest news is that being reported by al-Ghad. The paper, which has good sources, claims that the government and al-Qaeda have agreed to a one-year truce. The paper reports that in exchange for a cessation of operations in Yemen, the government will release a number of prisoners that have not been involved in “terrorist” acts within the country.

The paper reports that the committee was headed by Tariq al-Fadhli (who incidentally, fought with Abu Tariq al-Irada and Abu Muslim al-Nihmi from yesterday’s post in the Siege of Jalalabad, but unlike them he escaped from the fighting with only a wound). Supposedly the committee met with both al-Wahayshi and al-Raymi, although the paper couldn’t confirm this with any official sources.

The paper also gives a heads-up about the upcoming release of 250 AQ suspects, which it suggests are part of this deal.

It is much too early to assess the accuracy of this report, but if true it would be a huge shift for both al-Wahayshi and al-Raymi, who have consistently refused to deal with the government and criticized former colleagues who did deal, labelling such maneuvers as “treacherous alliances with tyrants.”

We may have to wait for the release of the next issue of Sada al-Malahim, which should be out in 2-3 weeks to further evaluate what al-Wahayshi and al-Raymi are thinking. Last summer, I heard rumors from friends in Yemen, that the government came close to cutting a deal with al-Raymi in exchange for the release of some prisoners but that broke down and the attack on the US Embassy followed.


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