AQAP’s ability to target STC forces is partly a function of the conflict between the STC and Yemen’s internationally recognised government (IRG). The two are vying for influence and territory, weakening their counterterrorism capabilities. AQAP operatives are frequently used as 'guns for hire'.
- Areas under the control of the Shia Islamist Huthis movement in the north will remain largely free of AQAP-directed violence.
- Any AQAP attacks in and around Aden will likely further erode security in what is already Yemen’s most insecure major city.
- Increased AQAP activity will further undermine the PLC’s ability to carry out effective governance and restore stability in the south.
- The Saudi-Iranian agreement announced on March 10 to restore diplomatic relations may help renew a ceasefire in Yemen.