Yemen: Ansar al-Shariah hits Al Anad air base with rockets
Ansar al-Shariah, an al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, has fired six rockets at the Al Anad air base, the country’s largest military airbase, located in the southern part of the country. The attack is considered as retaliation to last month’s failed rescue mission to free American hostage Luke Somers by American and Yemeni forces although they were able to free 8 other hostages. Ansar al-Shariah said the “foolish acts” of the Obama administration forced them to assassinate Somers together with another South African hostage Pierre Korkie.
The Al Anad air base is mostly occupied by European and American forces. Witnesses of the attack said they heard a powerful explosion in the base and saw bodies being rushed to the hospital. The al-Qaeda affiliated group said it hit the American section of the base but its claims cannot be confirmed.
Officials at Yemen’s defense military confirmed that some soldiers were injured but could not give information concerning casualties. An official reportedly said that the rockets failed to hit the desired targets. One rocket reportedly exploded near an oil-storage facility but did not cause any major damage.
Ansar al-Shariah is viewed by the U.S as the most dangerous terror group linked to Al Qaeda. One of its officials, Nasr Bin Ali Al Ansi said in a video published on the group’s twitter account that the U.S could have “could have at least negotiated with us about some clauses or show sincerity” regarding the hostages. He blamed them for making “things to go in a completely different way than we wanted.” The group wanted to exchange the hostages for the release of some detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
The U.S has been fighting terrorism in Yemen with drone strikes.