Yemen Observer: http://www.yobserver.com
Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Oct 1, 2012 - 11:02:06 PM
Hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters left Yemen to Syria to join the fight against Bashar al-Asad’s forces, said different media sources.
Yemen Observer had published a report attributed to Sheikh Tariq al-Fadhly as saying that hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters were transported from Abyan province in south Yemen to Syria.
Al-Fadli announced that there was a deal for evacuating al-Qaeda fighters from Yemen and sending them to Syria to join the fight against the Syrian regime.
He said that Saudi Arabia is sponsoring this deal and that the fighters were sent to Syria through Turkey.
“The sudden withdrawal of al-Qaeda militants from the two cities of Zinjubar and Ja’ar in Abyan province is connected to a conclusive deal recently made to have groups of armed men relocated to Syria to partake in the war against the Syrian regime, al-Fadhli told the Adenalghd local news site.
Later in the month the British based Guardian newspaper affirmed that hundreds of international fighters have flocked to Syria to join the war against Bashar al-Assad’ government.
Sheikh Tariq al-Fadhli is a veteran Arab Afghan Jihadist who is currently one of the key leaders of the southern movement.
Some are fresh-faced idealists driven by hatred for Assad, while some are jihadi veterans from Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan.
According to the Guardian, to reach the country, foreign fighters have crossed borders with forged passports and dodge secret services.
The fighters have been dispersed among different jihadi organizations, including Ahrar al-Sham ("the Free Men of Syria") and Jabhat al-Nusra ("the Front for the Aid of the People of the Levant").
These fighters are also secretive, especially when dealing with the Free Syria Army.
Meanwhile the German Die Welt newspaper revealed that a report issued by the German intelegence uncovered that only 5 percent of the Syrian Free army are of Syrian national and that the rest are jihadists brought from other Arab and Islamic countries, including Yemen.
The report said that the number of the Arab Jihadists in Syria amounts to 15000. According to the report most of these jihadists are affiliated to al-Qaeda and the rest are from other extremist Islamic groups that have been using children as human shields.
On the same context the Yemeni daily newspaper al-Ola said that the Yemen government rejected a Qatari deal for purchasing weapons from North Korea and sending have of the weapons deal to the Syrian Free Army.
The paper said that the deal was rejected by President Hadi during his visit to Qatar.
Yemen's defense ministry has denied that five military officers reportedly being held by rebels in Syria were sent to fight alongside Syrian government forces.
An official told BBC Arabic that the soldiers had been studying at a military academy in Aleppo and were detained as they tried to travel home.
The al-Nusra Front, an Islamist rebel group in Syria, posted a video on Sunday saying it had captured them.
The video showed five men asking Yemen to stop supporting Bashar al-Assad.
The Yemeni defense ministry said the five soldiers had travelled to Syria two years ago to study at the Assad Military Academy in Aleppo as part of a military co-operation agreement between the two countries.
“They were sent to study in Syria a year before the uprising started in Syria”, said the military source and friends of the captured Yemeni officers.
They were detained on 4 September as they travelled from Aleppo to Damascus to get their flight home, it added.
The ministry's account supports what the Yemeni human rights group, Hood, told the Reuters news agency over the weekend.
The unverified four-minute video, which was posted on jihadist forums, shows the identity cards of five men, one of whom appears to be a lieutenant-colonel, as well as pictures of them in military uniform.
The men are pictured sitting below a black flag emblazoned with "al-Nusra Front" in Arabic.
The video includes an interview with one of the men, who says the group had been sent to Damascus to help quell the uprising.
The man, who identifies himself as Mohammed Abdo Hezam al-Meleiky, says: "I ask the Yemeni government to cut all logistical and military ties because Bashar al-Assad's regime is a regime that is killing its people and that is what we saw with our own eyes when we came here."
A friend of al-Meleiky said all he knows about Mohammed al-Meleiky was that he was studying for a master degree in Syria and that they were expecting him to come back home early September.
“I believe that what al-Meleiky said on the video was under threat by his abductors,” said his friends that preferred to be anonymous.