Radaa's skyline was illuminated by gunfire from residents celebrating al-Qaeda's forced exit from the city Tuesday (January 24th).
Armed elements of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia left Radaa as a result of co-operation between residents and tribes, according to a statement on the Ministry of Defence's website today.
"The mediation efforts were successful because the tribesmen cornered al-Qaeda and their leader, Tariq al-Thahab, and left them with only one option: leaving the city," Sheikh Ali al-Mansoury, deputy administrator of Radaa affairs in al-Baidaa province said. "The Radaa tribes, including al-Thahab's tribe, renounced al-Qaeda's acts and showed a willingness to fight in order to drive out the armed group. They also wanted to save the city from a state of war and conflict, especially after military reinforcements, including tanks and heavy artillery, arrived in preparation for an attack by the army against these elements."
Al-Mansoury said if al-Qaeda had remained in Radaa this would have meant "certain suicide for the group, which is why al-Thahab did not have much leverage, and the requests he made to the tribal committee were quite simple".
He said tribal mediation succeeded in reaching an agreement with the group's emir Tariq al-Thahab and his armed men to withdraw from Radaa in return for releasing his brother, Nabil al-Thahab along with two others.
"Nabil was detained by Syrian authorities and handed over to Yemen several years ago. The prisoners were transferred to Radaa on Tuesday," al-Mansoury said.
Al-Mansoury said he took over the government facilities that were seized, on Wednesday in the presence of the tribal leaders. Al-Qaeda fighters had taken control of these facilities on January 14th, including the national security and political security headquarters, and other government buildings.
Al-Mansoury said Yemeni forces are now stationed in the Ameriya School and the Ameriya Castle, previously occupied by al-Qaeda fighters.
He added that Radaa's tribes killed 12 al-Qaeda members since they entered the city.
Sheikh Ali al-Tairi, leader of the al-Arsh tribe, told Al-Shorfa that tribal mediators, led by Sheikh Hashid al-Qawsi, in tandem with the committee formed from the seven Radaa directorates, had a direct effect on al-Thahab's decision to leave the city.
"The most important factor behind al-Qaeda's withdrawal from the city was the negative response they received from residents and tribes of the seven directorates of Radaa to their demands, and the resulting mobilisation against their agenda," al-Tairi said.
Ali Zain, one of the elders in Radaa, told Al-Shorfa the city skyline was illuminated by gunfire from residents who were celebrating al-Qaeda's exit. He said the city has now quieted down and life has begun to return to normal.
"The fact that the residents of Radaa stood united against terrorist plans was the decisive factor in al-Qaeda's expulsion from Radaa and prevented them from establishing an Islamic emirate here," he said.