Status of the Abu al-Abbas Group in Taiz

Kamal Muqbil & Mareike Transfeld

YPC Debrief   •   January 9, 2019


Efforts to stabilise the city of Taiz remain fluid despite improved security in 2018 and a drive by the Saudi-supported internationally recognized government to integrate the Salafist Abu al- Abbas group into the armed forces. The Abu al-Abbas group, named after its leader Adil Abduh Fari Uthman al-Dhubhani, known as Abu al-Abbas, is adept at handling pressure. The group claimed to have withdrawn from most of Taiz but maintains a strategic presence in the city. Abu al-Abbas is open to alliances with any groups opposing the Houthis, regardless of their political ideology. Abu al-Abbas is reaping benefits of allying with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Saudi-backed government without jeopardising links with Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP is present in Taiz with individual fighters; their hold is currently shrinking, however, as they withdraw to rural areas.