ADEN, YEMEN – Yemen has enough problems without throwing an Islamic State affiliate into the mix.
If you don’t know a lot about Yemen that is not too surprising. The Arabian Peninsula nation does not get a lot of news coverage. It may once have been called Arabia Felix by the Romans, but it is anything but happy now.
Yemen is a desperately poor nation. In part due to a prolonged war, poverty in Yemen has jumped from 47 percent of the population in 2014 to a projected 75 percent and the country is on pace to become the world’s poorest.
Compounding the situation is the fact that Yemen has been in an almost constant state of war for decades. The nation was once two in fact, North and South Yemen, and a civil war in the early 1990s brought about unification. For the past few years another civil war has been raging, albeit one where outside powers (i.e. Saudi Arabia and the UAE) have been meddling.
Yemen is also home to Sunni Islamist terrorist groups, some of which have pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda (AQ) and others to Islamic State (ISIS). It was the latter on this day in December 2016 that was behind a large attack.
A suicide bomber killed 50 Yemeni soldiers and wounded another 70 in the port city of Aden. The attack happened while soldiers had gathered to receive their salaries at a barracks. ISIS claimed responsibility for the incident.
I could hear the wounded soldiers screaming for help.Eye witness
At the time of writing Yemen is showing few signs of improvement. I guess that means we could call it ‘Arabia Infelix’.