The Yemeni government has declared an open war against Al Qaeda, which has been increasingly growing since January 2009 when the Yemeni branch merged with the Saudi branch to form what the so-called Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
The United States and Britain are teaming up to help the poor Yemen, which is facing an armed rebellion in the north and increasing separation sentiments in the south in addition to this open war with Al Qaeda.
The failed plot to bring down a US-bound airliner by the Nigerian terrorist Omar Abdul Mutallab who allegedly trained and planned in Yemen, was also the declaration of war against United States by AQAP, which claimed responsibility for this plot and vowed that painful strikes are in the way.
On January 28th, London will host an international conference called for by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for rescuing Yemen from collapsing like Somalia.
Fears and concerns are increasing among Yemenis that the results of the conference may lead to a direct involvement of US and UK in a war against AQAP in the country, which needs development not more wars.
Two Al Qaeda operatives at least were killed and three injured on Monday January 4th, when the Yemeni forces clashed with an Al Qaeda cell in Arhab area, about 40-50 km east of the capital Sana'a. The cell is believed to be on its way to implement their previous threats against US and UK embassies in Sana'a, which closed at the beginning of the week.
The head of the so-called military wing of AQAP, Kasem Al Raimi and his comrade Hezam Mujali, were likely among the dead. Both Al Raimi and Mujali survived a raid on their hideout on December 17th in the same place where 4 would-be suicide bombers were killed and 4 others arrested.
The Arhab second strike came only one day after a swift visit to Yemen by the US commander for Middle East, David Petraeus who met President Ali Abdullah Saleh and senior officials.
Western-trained Special Forces troops were deployed this week in the eastern areas of the country where at least 400 Al Qaeda operatives are hiding and trying to incite the most conservative tribes there against America and the "agent and traitor" Yemeni government, who launch a "Crusade war" against them.
The Eritrean-backed Al Shabab Al Mujahid in Somalia said in a press statement they would send fighters, Mujahideen, to support AQAP for fighting the "enemies of Allah" in Yemen.