DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates says it is actively fighting al-Qaida's branch in Yemen after an Associated Press report outlined how Emirati forces cut secret deals with the militants to get them to abandon territory.
An Emirati general on Monday denied the report while speaking to journalists in Dubai, saying it was based on "nothing." The AP spoke to two dozen witnesses, tribal leaders, mediators, militants and security officials who all described the practice.
Brig. Gen. Musallam al-Rashedi also said that al-Qaida militants "are not willing to negotiate, most of these hard-core guys. They are willing to go and fight."
He added that since 2015, some 1,000 "core" al-Qaida fighters had been killed, including 13 most-wanted leaders, while 1,500 have been captured.