By Nasser Arrabyee,07/08/2012
The Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi has taken the long-waited step to strengthen his fist on a split army as an upper commander.
He has reduced the influence of the two military commanders who divided the army into two main and hostile-to each-other groups since March last year.
The two commanders themselves remain in their positions but their powers will become less and less until they become like any two commanders in the army that is being restructured and reunified.
President Hadi took two decisions on Monday August 6th, 2012, to take military powers from these two commanders. Hadi took three brigades (about 5000 soldiers each) from the republican guards, and one brigade from the first armored division to form what is called " the presidential protection". These units will completely independent from the two commanders.
The second decision was to take four brigades from the republican guards and four from the first armored devision and put them under other commanders in two different regions. Which means these brigades will be no longer under the two commanders who will lose more than 60 per cent of their forces after this decision.
The two decisions came to reduce the military powers of the defected general Ali Muhsen, commander of the first armored division, and the elder son of the former President Ali abbdullah Saleh ( Ahmed), commander of the republican guards, who both formed the most powerful military centers during the political crisis.
Obviously, it was extremely difficult for President Hadi to sack Ahmed and Muhsen who made an equilibrium of forces (equilibrium of fear) during the crisis. After Hadi was elected as President in February this year, he needed this equilibrium to protect himself as a new president from any possible military coup.
President Hadi's bold decisions came to continue implementation of a Saudi-sponsored and US-backed deal that solved the Yemeni political crisis on a basis of consensus ruling between Saleh's party and opposition parties.
Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of Saleh's party Abdul Kareem Al Eryani was elected Monday as a chairman of the 25- member preparatory committee of the dialogue that will be held next November. The woman lawyer Rakia Humaidan, from the Socialist party was elected as first vice president, and secretary general of Nasserite party Sultan Al Atwani was elected a second vice president. The human right activist, Amal Basha was elected as a spokesperson.
Ahmed Awadh was elected a reporter. The 25 members of the preparatory committee represented all different groups that will be involved in the dialogue, that is supposed to come out with an agreement on a new constitution according to which presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in 2014.
US Drones kill 6 Al Qaeda operatives, suicide bomber kills and injures 95
The war between the US-backed government and Al Qaeda continued. A US drone killed a leader of Al Qaeda and his friend while riding their motorcycle early Tuesday August 7, 2012 in Kaifa area, Rada'a of Al Baidha province south east of the country.
The security forces identified the killed leader as Usamah Al Marebi and his friend was not identified. This was the first drone attack on motorcycle since Al Qaeda urged its members to use motorcycles to avoid the air strikes two months ago.
And on Monday, a US drone killed four Al Qaeda operatives while driving in their car in the area of Qutan west of Sayoun town in Hudhrmout, east of Yemen. The four operatives were driving their car, model 87 land cruiser, which was completely destroyed.
Eleven terrorists mostly foreigners were arrested on Monday in Jaar of the southern province of Abyan after a suicide bomber killed and injured about 90 people.
A young man in his 20s infiltrated on Sunday night into a big tribal gathering for expressing condolences and blew himself up killing at least 50 and injuring 40 people.
The suicide bombing was in the house of Abdul Latif Al Sayed, the chairman of the anti-Al Qaeda popular committees. Al Sayed defected from Al Qaeda before it was driven out from Jaar last May. Al Sayed survived but three of his brothers were killed.
Al Qaeda has been trying to re-take the town of Jaar over the last two weeks.