The Yemeni Congregation for Reform Party (Islah), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen, sparked a new battle in southern Yemen. The Shabwah-backed elite forces, backed by the Arab coalition, set up a move for the Brotherhood from the Marib-dominated province to provoke military crises in southern Yemen. The Arab coalition is at the center of a new conflict that is weakening its military operations in the combat fronts against Houthi.
Al-Islah militia sent its fighters to the Zalimin area in Shabwah province, coming from Marib province, in an attempt to ignite chaos in the liberated areas and to strike at the Shabwah elite forces.
The Shabwah elite forces issued a statement confirming the suspicious movement of the Muslim Brotherhood from Marib towards the Zalimin area in Shabwah province, affirming its readiness to deter any Brotherhood attempt to provoke chaos in the province and in southern Yemen.
The province of Shabwah, south of Yemen, is of geopolitical importance. It is one of the first governorates in Yemen to reject the Houthi constitutional declaration in January 2015. It also rejects the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood. It also has a geographic location, on the borders with Marib, making it a strategic hub for exporting oil as well as smuggling arms to the Houthis.
Shabwah also produces more than 50,000 barrels of oil per day, which is a strategic target for the Houthi and Brotherhood militias to control the wealth of the province.
The Shabwah elite forces specializing in the fight against terrorism say that the militias of the terrorist organization and the Qatari financier are planning to control the oil wells in Shabwah while Yemeni reports said that the tribes of “Lakit and Al-Matarfa” announced the general intention to counter the plans of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is striving to target stability and security of Shabwah.
Why did the Brotherhood move now?
For his part, the leader of the southern transitional council, Nizar Haitham, said that the timing of the Brotherhood’s move comes after the announcement of the southern transitional council, the disengagement from the legitimate government, and his call for the transitional institutions to control the state institutions in southern Yemen.
He said in a statement to the Reference that the Muslim Brotherhood aims to control the area of oil-rich Bihan in Shabwah province, in order to steal the oil of the South in favor of their emirate in the Marib. The Brotherhood is establishing their own emirate in Marib which has its own military and receive full funding from the international organization, Qatar, and Houthis.