Yemeni government forces backed by Arab coalition aircraft and gunboats drove al Qaeda militants out of the city of Zinjibar in eastern Yemen on Aug. 14, residents said, Reuters reported. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has exploited the country's conflict between the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi and the Iran-allied Houthi group to capture a stretch of Arabian Sea coastline in eastern Yemen. But Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies intervened in Yemen in March last year after the Houthis advanced on Hadi's headquarters in the southern port city of Aden and forced him to flee to Riyadh. Coalition bombing mostly focused on the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. But with the war winding down despite difficult peace talks, the coalition began turning its attention to AQAP earlier this year when forces launched a surprise attack to win the Hadramawt provincial capital of Mukalla in April. Still, an armed push toward al Qaeda-held Zinjibar and Jaar in Abyan province proved more difficult, and militants have launched repeated suicide attacks against Yemeni forces.